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Buddha Gautama 

U. Ru A Sons, Calcutta. 





Author of Kxatnya Clans in Buddhist India,' ' Historic** Gleanings t > The Lift and 

Work of Buddhtghosa,' The Buddhist Conception of Spirit s,' Dttignatio* 

of Human Types,' ' Ancient Mid-Indian Ksatriya Tribes, 

Vol. /,' etc., etc. 






approved for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the 
University of Cakutta, 1923. 









ANCIENT INDIA, though she passed 
tudes of fortune, has Left us no historian of her national life. 
Brahmins and Buddhists alike, intent on the satisfaction of 
the desire to attain that insight which delivers from the 
burden of empirical existence, could see nothing of sufficient 
value in the passing events of life to render them willing 
to record them or to seek to interpret their significance, 
while princesand their followers found an adequate substitute 
for historic narrations in the famous legends of the epics. 
Hence it follows that, if with the curiosity of the modern 
world we seek to reconstruct the history of India in the 
centuries immediately preceding and following the Christian 
era, we are compelled to build up a structure by the careful 
collection and fitting together of every available fragment 
of evidence. Much has indeed already been accomplished, 
but what has been achieved has only brought into greater 
prominence the innumerable lacunae in our information, 
and the necessity of persistent and detailed work before it 
will be possible to feel any assurance as to the soundness of 
our reconstruction of early Indian history. 

The most pressing need at the present day is the detailed 
investigation of carefully chosen aspects of Indian history^ 
and it was a happy thought of Dr. Bimala Charan Law to 
select for investigation the history of certain Ksatriya^ribes 
of ancient India. Careful collections of facts, such as are 
contained in this work, form the only sound basis of further 


research, and the future historian of India will find his task 
substantially furthered both by the wide knowledge and 
by the sound judgment of the author. Many things are 
obscure in the history of these tribes, and it is of special 
value to have the whole of the facts regarding them set out, 
without parti pris, in a spirit of scientific research. 

There is much here recorded that is of direct historical 
interest : it is a striking instance of the continuity of Indian 
history that the great Emperor Samudragupta should boast 
himself son of a daughter of Licchavis, a tribe famous 
in the Buddha's time, nine centuries earlier. But there is 
also material which appeals to the student of Indian politics 
and of social development. The legendary origin of the 
Licchavis as of the Sakyas presents us with the marriage of 
brother and sister, seen also in the Jataka version of the 
tale of Rama and Sits. We ate, of course, here brought 
into contact with a problem which is debated in the hymn 
of Yama and Yarn! in the Rgveda, while in the "Aitareya 
Brahmana the wise Narada insists that the need of offspring 
may justify incest ; that real facts lie at the back of the 
legends is attested by the custom of sister-marriage enjoined, 
if not by Zoroaster, at any rate in the later Avesta. It is 
curious that Buddhism appears to have found the practice 
less repellent than the priestly authors of the Rgveda. 
"Another relic of primitive practice is found in the usage of 
the Licchavis to expose their dead ; the late Dr. Vincent Smith 
deduqpd hence that they were of Tibetan origin, and from 
this it is an easy step to claim that the Buddha and his doc- 
trine are un- Aryan; a similar, but independent, train of 


reasoning in the case of Iran has stigmatised the Magi as 
aboriginal because they approved a like practice. But we 
must doubtless, with Dr. Law, disabuse ourselves of any 
over-estimation of the civilisation of the primitive Aryans, 
and accept the patent fact that they brought with them 
to Iran and India habits in no way superior to those of other 
nomad tribes. 


November, 1923. 


TH& present treatise was submitted as a tiSSU""** 'the 
degree of Doctor of Philosophy of the University of Calcutta. 
A year ago I wrote a work on " Ksatriya Clans in Buddhist 
India" which has been well received by scholars. This 
treatise is an improvement of the first and I have added 
four new chapters to it. The object of the entire volume is 
to present a narrative of the history, manners, customs, etc., 
of some Ksatriya tribes of ancient India. Scholars like 
Rhys Davids, Hoernle, Macdonell, Keith, Cunningham 
and others have no doubt from time to time supplied 
valuable information regarding some of these tribes but 
a comprehensive and systematic account of the Ksatriya 
tribes who play such an important part in the history of 
Pre-Mauryan India is, I believe, presented for the first time 
in the following pages. I venture to think that I have col- 
lected all available information from the works of my prede- 
cessors but this forms only an infinitesimal part of my work. 
The major portion of the present volume embodies the 
results of my own researches, I have utilised original 
works, Sanskrit, Pali, and Prakrit such as the Vedas, the 
Upani$ads, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the Puranas, 
the NikSyas, the Jfitakas, the Pali commentaries, the Kalpa 
Sutra, the Sdtrakritanga, etc. The portions for which I 
am indebted to previous writers have ca ref ully been indicat- 
ed in the footnotes. The rest constitutes my original work. 
For instance, in the first section of the first chapter the 


discussion regarding the name, lyicchavi, and its significance, 
is entirely new and original. In the second section of the 
first chapter a full and systematic account of the capital of 
the Licchavis is given for the first time. Buddhaghosa's 
knowledge of the MahSvana has first been pointed out 
by me. The third section of the first chapter treats of 
the manners and customs of the Ucchavis. In it I have 
pointed out for the first time that they were not vegetarians ; 
they were fond of manly pastimes ; they had a passion for 
hunting, regard for elders, and love of education. They 
knew something about construction of palaces and shrines, 
etc. I have described their matrimonial rites which have 
not been noticed by anybody else. The fourth section of 
the same chapter is entirely new and original and the major 
portion of the remaining chapters also may claim the same 

In a work of the kind that I have undertaken, one 
has got to rely mainly, if not entirely, on literary tradition. 
I have spared no pains to make full use of the materials 
that may be gathered from our ancient literature; at the 
same time I have not overlooked the fact that much of this 
tradition is late and of little value for historical purposes. 
I have tried to separate legends from authentic history and 
have noticed the difference between the two in the marginal 
notes. But the task is beset with difficulties and it is 
not always easy to draw the dividing line. It must not, 
however, be thought that my work is based wholly on 
literary evidence. I have made use of coins and inscriptions 
so far as they are useful for my purpose. 


For some of the photographs and the map and for kind 
permission to reproduce them in this volume, my thanks are 
due to the Director-General of Archaeology of India, Lionel 
Heath Esqr., Curator, Central Museum, Lahore, Mr. Rama- 
prasad Chanda, B.A., F.A.S.B., Superintendent, Archaeolo- 
gical Section, Indian Museum, Calcutta, and the Superinten- 
dent of the Archaeological Survey, Frontier Circle. I shall 
be failing in my duty if I do not acknowledge my indebted- 
ness to my friend, Babu Puran Chand Nahar, M.A., B.I*., 
Vakil. High Court, Calcutta, for the photograph of Varddha- 
mana MahSvIra so kindly lent to me for reproduction in this 

I find no word to express my deep gratitude to the late 
lamented Sir Asutosh Mookerjee whose encouragement was 
a source of inspiration to me in my literary endeavours, par- 
ticularly in the field of Ancient Indian history. 

Dr. A. Berriedale Keith, D.C.L., D.Litt., Barrister-at- 
Law, Regius Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative Phil- 
ology, University of Edinburgh, has laid me under a great 
debt of obligation by writing a foreword to my humble 


November, 1924. 










The Licchavis 




The Jnatrikas 






. . 126 


The Mallas 


" 147 


The Sakyas 

.. 162 


The Bulls The Koliyas The Moriyas The Bhaggas The Kala- 

mas .. .. .. .. ..200 

The Madras .. .. .. .. . . 214 

The Kambojas . . . . . , . . . . 230 

The Gandhfiras . . . . , . . . . . 252 

Index .. .. .. .. .. ..287 


Mate PAGE 

1. Buddha Gautama (Reproduced from Griffith's Ajanta) Frontispiece 

2. Ajttaftatru, King of Magadha .. .. 9 

3. Mahftvlra, the last Tlrthankara of the Jains .. n 

4. RajSVi&lkagarh .. .. .. 50 

5. The Gijjhakata .. .. .. .. 109 

6. Prasenajit, King of Koftala . . . . . . no 

7. Mote-Hall of the Gods and the Wheel of Law . . 144 

8. Buddha's parinirvSna .. .. .. 158 

9. Buddha's life in the palace and his flight from 

Kapilavastu ., .. .. .. 176 

10. Queen Maya . . . . . . . . 179 

xx. Cremation of the Buddha's body and disposal of the 

relics .. .. .. .. 201 

12. Buddhist Stflpa and Vihira (Reproduced from 

Grunwedel's Buddhist Art in India) .. .. 202 

13. Buddha (Gandharan School) . . . . . . 277 


i. VafflUl. 


i. Aitareya Brahmana. 

3. Altindisches I^eben. 

3. Anargharaghava (Nirnaya SSgara's Edition). 

Ancient Geography of India (Cunningham). 

>5. Ancient India (E. J. Rapson). 

x 6. Ancient India (S. K. Aiyangar). 

* 7. Ancient an d Hindu India (Vincent Smith). 

> 8. Ancient India as described by Ptolemy (Me Crindle). 

9. Anguttara Nikiya (P. T. S.). 

10. Archaeological Survey of India, Annual Report, 1903-04. 

iz. Archaeological Survey Reports, Vols. I and XVI. 

x 12. Arthasastra of Kautflya (Text). 

*i3. A6oka (Vincent Smith). 

14. Atharvasamhita (Whitney and Lanman). 

X 15. Atharvavedasadihita (Roth and Whitney). 

16. Avadanakalpalata (Bibliotheca Indica Series). 

#17. Beginnings of the Buddhist Art (Voucher). 

18. BhavisyapurSna ( VangavasI Edition) . 

19. Book of the Kindred Sayings (P. T. S.). 

20. BrhatsamhitS (Kern). 

21. Buddhacarita (Text). 
22. Buddhism. 

x 23. Buddhist Conception of Spirits (B. C. Law). 

1*24. Buddhist India (Rhys Davids). 

^5- Buddhist Records of the Western World (S. Beal). 

26. Buddhist Suttas (S. B. B., Vol. XI). 

Cambridge History of India, Vol. I. (Rapson). 
Carmicheel Lectures, 1918 (D. R. Bhandarkar). 


*29 CSrudatta. 

^30. Coins of India (Brown). 

v3i. Corporate Life in Ancient India (R. C. Mazumdar). 

32. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum (Fleet). 

x 33 . Dhammapadam (Fausboll) . 

34. Dialogues of the Buddha (T. W. and C. A. F. Rhys Davids). 

35. Dlgha-Nikaya (P. T. S.). 

36. Dipavainsa (Oldenberg). 

37. Divyavadana (Cowell & Neil). 

X 38. Early History of India (Vincent Smith). 

39. Fa-Hien (Legge). 

x '40. Fick's Social Organisation in North-East India in Buddha's time 
(S. K. Maitra). 

41. Gaina Sutras (S. B. E.). 

*42. Gautama, Apastamba, Va&isfha and Baudhayana. 

43. Geographical Dictionary (N. L. Dey). 

7,44. Geschichte der Indischen Litteratur (Winternitz). 

45. Gupta Coins (Allan). 

46. Heart of Jainism (S. Stevenson). 

947. Hinduism and Buddhism (Charles Eliot). 

x <48. Historical Gleanings (B. C. Law). 

49. History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature (Max Mtiller). 

^50. Indian Antiquary* 

*5i. Indian Coins (Rapson). 

-. 52. Indische Studien (Weber). 

53. jStaka (Cowell). 

54. jataka (Fausboll). 

-55 Journals of Bihar and Orissa Research Society. 

^56. Journals of the Department of Letters (Calcutta University; . 


~57- Journals of the Pali Text Society. 

- 58. Journals of th e Royal Asiatic Society. 

~59* Journals and Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. 

60. KalpaaQtra (Dhanpat Singh's Edition). 

61. Karmatataka (M, L. Feer). 

62. Lalitavistara (Bibliotheca Indica Series). 

- 63. Lalitavistara (E. Lefmann). 
x 64. Laws of Manu (Biihler). 

- 65. Le Mahavastu (E. Senart). 
v66. Life of Hiuen-Tsiang (Beal). 
>6;. Life of the Buddha (Rockhill). 

- 68. Mahfibharata (VangavisI Edition). 
*6g. MahSbharata (M. N. Dutt). 

^70. Mahavamsa (Geiger). 

- 71. Mahavamsa T*ka (Sinhalese Edition). 

72. Majjhima Nikaya (P. T. S.). 

73. ManavadharmaiSstra (Jolly). 

74. Manual of Buddhism (Spence Hardy). 

75. Manual of Indian Buddhism (Kern). 
*76. Mrcchakafika (Jlvananda VidySsigara). 
V 77- Mudrarak?asa (Text). 

78. Nirukta (Text). 

79. Origin of the Bengali Script (R. D. Banerjee). 

80. Paratnatthadipanl on the Petavatthu (P. T. S.). 

- 81. Paramatthadlpanl on the TheragathS (Sinhalese Edition). 

82. Paramatthajotika on the Khuddakapafha (P. T. S.) 

83. Petavatthu (P. T. S.). 

84. Petavatthu-afthakatha (Sinhalese Edition). 

1 85. Political History of India (H. C. Rai Chaudhuri). 


-86. Prftclna MudrS (R. D. Banerjee). 

87. Psalms of the Brethren (Mrs. Rhys Davids). 

88. Psalms of the Sisters (Mrs. Rhys Davids.) 

vBg. Public Administration in Ancient India (P. N. Banerjee). 

xQO. Questions of Milinda (S, B, E.). 

91. Raghuvamsa (Text). 

^93. Ramayana (Bombay Edition). 
93. ' Ramayana (Griffith's Translation). 

94. Romantic Legend of Sakya Buddha (S. Beal). 

95. Sanskrit Dictionary (Monier- Williams). 

96. Samyutta Nikaya (P. T. S.). 

97. Sasanavamsa. 

^98. Satapatha BrShmana (S. B. E.). 

99. Slrfkalpasfltram (Bhavnagar Edition). 

100. SumangalavilfisinI (Burmese Edition). 

-101. SumangalavilSsinl (P. T. S.). 

102. Sutta NipSta (P. T. S.). 

-103. Sutta Nipata Commentary (P. T. S.). 

^104. Svapnavasavadatta (Ganapati Sastrl's Edition). 

105. Taranath's Geschichte des Buddhismus in India (Tr. by Anton 


zo6. Thera-Therl gltha (P, T. S,). 

^107. Travels of Fa-Hien (Beal). 

108. Travels of Fa-Hien (Legge). 

109. Travels of Fa-Hien and Sung-yun (Beal). 

no. UvSsagadasao (Bibliotheca Indica Series). 

in. VaijayantI (Gustav Oppert). 

IT8. Vaisnavisni, daivism and minor religious systems (R. 0. Bhftndarkar), 

1x3. Vamsabrahmana (Satyavrata Samasrami's Edition). 


114. Vanglya SShitya Parisad Patrika. 

-115. Vangalar Itihasa (R. D. Banerjee). 

><ti6. Vedic Index (Macdonell and Keith). 

117. Vinaya Pifaka (Oldeaberg). 

x -ii8. Vinaya Texts (S. B. E.). 

1 19. VisnupurSna (Vangavasi Edition). 

120. Visnupurana (Wilson). 

121. Watters on Yuan Chwang. 

Some Kgatriya Tribes of Ancient India 



The Licchavis were a great and powerful people in 
Eastern India in the sixth century before Christ. Their 
peculiar form of government, their free 
institutions, their manners and customs, 
their religious views and practices, afford us glimpses of India 
of the transition period, when the ancient Vedic culture was 
making a fresh development and undergoing a novel transfor- 
mation under the influence of that speculative activity out 
of which emerged the two great religions of Jainism and 
Buddhism. Fortunately for us, Buddhist literature, and to a 
less extent the Jaina sacred books, have preserved for us 
facts and comments which, though in bits and fragments, 
are yet sufficient to hold up before our eyes a living picture 
of this interesting people. Prom the account of their politi- 
cal institutions that can be gleaned from the Pali Buddhist 
Canon, we get an insight into the democratic ideas of state- 
craft and government that prevailed among the majority* of 
the Aryan dans that peopled northern India before the im- 
perialistic policy of the Mauryas grew and developed, as we 


have it on the authority of the great Brahmin statesman 
whose policy and activity were responsible, in no little measure, 
for the foundation of the Maurya Empire. This great people 
who were one of the earliest and most devoted followers of 
Jainism and Buddhism, whose high character, unity, power 
of organisation, and religious devotion were held up by 
Sakyamuni himself as a model for the Buddhist congregation 
to follow, deserve to be studied with as much care and 
attention as the materials at our command will require or 
permit. Such a close study will, we think, well repay the 
trouble bestowed upon it and with this hope we proceed to 
piece together the bits and scraps that lie scattered in litera- 
ture, and to a smaller extent, in epigraphs and coins. 

We find in Indian literature the name of this great people 
in slightly varying forms lyicchavi, lyicchivi, *Lecchavi, 
I/ecchai and so on. Throughout the Pali 
Canon, the name invariably occurs in 
the form "Licchavi." In some of the 
Buddhist Sanskrit texts, e.g., the Divyavadana/ the name is 
found in the same form, i.e., "Licchavi," but in others, for 
example, the Mahavastu Avadana, the usual form is I^ec- 
chavi. 4 In the Chinese translations of the Buddhist sacred 
books, the name occurs in both forms, Wcchavi and I^ec- 
chavi, 8 and this is what may be expected, as these transla- 
tions are based on the Sanskrit Buddhist texts. The Maha- 
vastu form, I^ecchavi, answers very well to the Prakrit form, 

J Divyavad&na edited by S.B. Cowell and R.A. Neil, pp. 55-56, 136. 
Mahfoastu edited by B. Senart, Vol. I, p. 254, etc. 
T. Watters-Ow Yuan Chwang, Vol. tt, p. 77, 


Lecchal, as we find it in another set of works that claim to 
be contemporaneous in origin with the Buddhist Canon, 
namely the Jaina sacred literature which, according to some 
scholars, began to be composed perhaps by the direct dis- 
ciples of Mahavlra in the first century after his death, or at 
the latest, in the next century, by the time of Candragupta 
Maurya when the first council of the Jainas was held at 
Pataliputra. 1 

In the SutrakritSnga, one of the earliest works of the 
Jaiua sacred literature, we meet with the name Lecchai* 
and the same form occurs in the Kalpasutra attributed to 
Bhadravahu who is considered to have been a contemporary 
of the great Maurya Emperor, Candragupta. The Jainn 
commentators equate the Prakrit lyecchai with the Sanskrit 
Lecchakl/ and according to the laws of phonetic transform- 
ation, the Sanskrit Lecchavi and Lecchakl would both lead 
to Lecchal in Prakrit. In the form Lecchaki, however, the 
name does never occur in Sanskrit literature in which the 
earliest mention, so far as we have been able to ascertain, of 
this powerful people is in Kautilya's Arthasastra, where 
they are called Licchivis, and we read that " the corporations 
of Licchivika, Vrjika, Mallaka, Madraka, Kukura, Kuru, 
Pancala and others live by the title of raja."* We next 

l Dr. M. Win tern itz, Geschichte dcr Indischen Littemtur II Baud, p. 295. 

* KalpOfiutta, ft 128. Sinkalpasulram, Bhavnagar edition, p. 192 ; See also 
Jaina Sftlras by H. Jacobi, S.B.B., vol. xxii, p, 266 f. n. i., Vol. xiv, part, II, p. 331, 
f. n. 3. 

. 8 Jaina Sutras by H. Jacobi, S.B.B., Vol. wcii, part I, p. 2j6, . n. i. 

* Kautilya'a Arthad^atra translated by R. Shara&astry, B.A., p. 455- The 
Sanakrit text has :" Licchivika- VrJikaOIaUaka-Madraka-Kukura-Kura-Paflcaladayo 


find them mentioned in the Manava Dharmatestra (x. 22). 
Here, of course, there are some varies lectiones; the anony- 
mous Kashmirian comment on the Manava DharmaSSstra 
reads Lichavi which approximates very closely to the 
Buddhistic form and Medhatithi and Goviudaraja, the two 
earliest commentators of the Manava DharmaSastra, read 
Licckivi and this reading tallies exactly with the name as 
given by Kautflya ; this form, therefore, represents the earliest 
spelling of this word in the Brahmanic Sanskrit literature. It 
is only Kulluka Bhatfa, the Bengali commentator, who 
r eads Nicchivi in this verse of Manu; Raghavananda, 
another commentator, follows Kulluka, in this as in other 
matters, both in spelling as well as in interpretation, and 

R&ja&abdopajivinah." The ( a* at the end of the words does not change the 
meaning at all. It will be seen that Kautilya distinguishes the Licchivikas from 
the Vrjikas. Regarding this H, Panda? (" Notes on the Vajji country and the 
Malta* of Pava." J.B. and O.R.S.. Vol. VI, pt. II, June 1920, p. 259 foil.) says 
that it appears from the Pali Suttas that the names Vajji and Ucchavi are inter- 
changeable to some extent. In Kautilya's Arthas&stra (2nd. Ed., p. 378), we find 
that both the Ucchavis and Vrjis (Vajjis) are mentioned together in the list of 
republics. It at once starts an enquiry whether the Licchavis and Vrjis (Vajjis) 
were two separate republics. The Pali literature will answer it in the negative but 
the accounts of tfre Chinese pilgrims lead to a different conclusion. Pa Bien calls 
the country of which Vaisall was the capital, "the Kingdom of Vaisall" and 
the people of the country, " Ucchavis," Pa Hiendoes not mention Vriji. Binen 
Tsang describes Valsftli and Vrji as two distinct countries and Waiters is inclined 
to disbelive the accuracy of Hiuen Tsang's description of the Vrji country. Dr. 
Rai Chaudhury reconciles the evidence of the Pali literature with that of 
Kanfilya end Hiuen Tsang, saying that " Vajji was not only the name of the 
confederacy but also of one of the constituent clans. But the Vajjis like the 
Ucchavis are sometimes associated with the city of Vesall which was not only tne 
capital of the Licchavi clan, but also the metropolis of the entire confederacy." 
(Political History of India, p. 60.) 


the ordinary printed editions of the Mauusamhita, that 
implicitly follow Kulluka, have adopted this reading. 1 Both 
Jolly and Biihler, the two great authorities on Manu, have 
accepted the form Licchivi which is without doubt the 
correct reading. Kulluka who wrote apparently in the 
fifteenth century and was thus younger by about six hundred 
years than Medhatitht and by about three hundred years 
than Goviudaraja, was evidently misled by the similarity 
of the letters 'N' and 'I/ as they were written in Bengali in 
the fifteenth century, and as they are still found to be 
written even in modern Bengali manuscripts. 

Already in the early-years of the eleventh century, the 
Bengali forms of Na and La had developed almost completely 
from the eastern variety of the north Indian alphabet as we 
find from the Krpa Dwarika temple inscription of the 
fifteenth year of Nayapala ; but a little later on, towards the 
end of the century, we find in the Dsopara inscription of 
Vijaya Sena that "La has a peculiar form, resembling La 
which is still found in some cases in modern Bengali manus- 
cripts where La is denoted by a dot placed under Na" '* 
Coming down still later, nearer the time of Kulluka, we 
observe that " the Kamauli grant shows the use of the peculiar 
twelfth century form of la which is also found in the Deopttft 
Pratasti and the Tetrawan image inscription of the second 
year of Rftmapala. The form of this letter is the same as the 

I For the various reading! Me Manav* Dhtrmtiattra edited by J. Jolly, Th.D,, 
fC jt|. See ftlfo Tki Law of Manu by O. Btthler, 8.B.B., VoL XXV., p. 406, 
R. D. Banarjit Tkt Oriiin of the Bntgali Script, Cel. Univ. 1919. p. 8a, 


Ta of the modern NSgari" ; l and this peculiar reshaped 
form also occurs in many other inscriptions of a later date, 
and Mr. R. D. Banerji from whom we have quoted above, 
observes that "the TVshaped form of la still survives in Ben- 
gali where a dot is put under na to denote la." * This dot, 
however, was often omitted by scribes and it is no wonder, 
therefore, that Kulluka, or rather the scribes who copied his 
work, read and wrote Nicchivi in the place of Licchivi. 
Hence we have no hesitation in rejecting Kulluka 1 s reading 
Nicchivi and any attempt to connect the Licchivis with 
Nisibis in Persia 8 on such a flimsy foundation is not worthy 
of much consideration. Kulluka in his reading has made a 
mistake like the one found in NandanScarya's commentary 
called Nandirii or ManyarthavyttKhyftna where we have the 
name in the form Lichikhi* r kh' being evidently a clerical 
error for V.' It should be observed, however, that here also 
the word begins with / and not n. Nowhere but in Kulluka 
and the editions dependent on him do we meet with the form 
with an initial N. 

That Nicchivi was only an accidental clerical error and 
had nothing to do with the name of the people we are dealing 
with, appears from the Sanskrit incriptions of the early 
Gupta Emperors. In the Allahabad posthumous stone 
pillar inscription of Samudragupta, that great monarch is 
described as the Licchavi-dauhitra or c the son of the daughter 

R. D. Banerji, The Origin of the Bengali Script, p. 108. Ibid, p. 109. 

. lifohftinfthopadhyaya Dr. Satlsh Ch. Vidyabhfisa^a, Indian 4ntoyt*ry t Vol. 
X3KVXI, pp. 78-80. 

Jolly, Manavadharmabastra, p. 335 *. 


of the Licchavis/ ' so that we have here, the very same form 
as in the Pali Buddhist works. We have the same, form in 
many other inscriptions of the monarchs of this family, for 
example, in the Mathura stone inscription of Candragupta 
II, ' the Bilsad stone pillar inscription of Kumara Gupta of 
the year 96, ' the Bihar stone pillar inscription of Skanda- 
gupta, * etc. On the other hand, the other variant, Licchivi, 
is found to occur in the Bhitati stone pillar inscription of 
Skanda Gupta * and the Gaya copper plate inscription of 
Samudra Gupta/ which is considered to be spurious. Some 
of the coins of Candragupta I. have the name Licchavi on 
them. Moreover, in the inscriptions oi the Nepal kings who 
claim to be descended from the family of the Licchavis, the 
expression used is always Licchavi-kula-ketu, 'the banner 
or glory of the Licchavi family.' 7 In the Sanskrit inscrip- 
tions, therefore, the usual form of the name is Licchavi, and 
the form Licchivi is also met with occasionally. Coming now 
to the form of the name as used in countries outside India, we 
have seen that in the Chinese translations which are based 
on Sanskrit Buddhist texts, the form is Licchavi or Lecchavi ; 
Pa Hien speaks of them as Licchavis*; in Hiuen Tsiang's 
Records of the Western World, the form is Li-ch'e p'o which 

l Inscriptions of tk* Early Gupta Kings, edited by J. F. Fleet-Cor/w Intcrip- 
tiontm Indicarum, Vol. Ill, p. 8. 

* Fleet, op. clt. p. 27. * Ibid., p. 43* 

* Ibid. p. 50. i Ibid., p. 53* 

* Meet, Inicriptiont of ih* Early Gupta King*, Carp** Inscription** Indicant*, 
Vol. ni, p. 956. 

Y Fleet, l*teriptio*s of the Early Gupta Kings, p. 177 n. ; India* 
Vol.IX.p. i68ff. 


would correspond to the form Licchavi. 1 The Tibetans 
who began to have the Buddhist books translated into their 
own language from the eighth century A.D., have also the 
fonA Licchavi. In the Tibetan Dulva from which Rockhill 
quotes in his Life of the Buddha (p. 97 foil.) the form is 
Licchavi. Schiefner, in his German translation of Tara- 
natha's History of Buddhism in India, spells the word as 
Litschtschhavi* the consonantal group tsch representing, 
according to German orthography, the Indian * (c). 

The Licchavis were neither Tibetan nor Iranian in their 
origin : there is very clear evidence in the Buddhist literature 
to show that they belonged to the Aryaii 
rulin 8 caste-the K^atriya. In the 
Mahaparinibbana Suttanta to which we 
have already referred, we read that after the decease of the 
Buddha, his body was preserved for a week by the Mallas of 
KuSinara, while in the meantime, the news of the passing 
away of the Master reached the people of the countries 
far and near. Now the Licchavis of VaiSali claimed a share 
of the remnants of his body. We read there, "And the 
Licchavis of Vesall heard the news that the Exalted One 
had died at KuSInara. And the Licchavis of- Vesali sent 
a messenger to the Mallas, saying : ' The Exalted One was a 
K$atriya and so are we. We are worthy to receive a portion 
of the relics of the Exalted One. Over the remains of the 

l Buddhist Records of tht Western World, by S. Besl^^rf, |f ;|). 73. 
\ *&ra*atha's Gttchichte des Buddhismus in /wrft^-traiislat^fllfeto German 

Ajntiisatrn. Kin^ of Mn^arlhn. 


Exalted One, will we put up a sacred cairn and in their honour, 
will we celebrate a feast.' " l 

Here we see that the claim of the lyicchavis was based 
on the fact that they were Ksatriyas or people of the same 
caste as the Divine Master; hence they were entitled to a 
portion of the relics. Similar claims based on the same 
argument were forwarded also by Ajatasatru, the powerful 
king of Magadha, who also sent a messenger with the message, 
"The Lord is a Ksatriya and so am I. Therefore I deserve 
a share of the relics. M (Bhagava pi Khattiyo, aham pi 
Khattiyo. Aham pi Bhagavato sariranam bhagam ara- 
hami.") The very same claim was preferred by the Bulis 
of Allakappa, the Koliyas of Ramagama, the Mallas of Pava 
and the Moriyas of Pipphalivana, all of whom advanced 
their right on the ground, " The Lord is a K$atriya land so 
are we," while the Sakyas of Kapilavastu claimed him as 
their very kin.* A L/icchavi named Mahali says, "I am a 
Khattiya, so is the Buddha. If his knowledge increases 
and he becomes all-knowing, why should it not happen to 
me." 8 It is apparent, therefore, that the Licchavis 

i Mahaparinibbavia Suttanta Translated by T. W. & C. A. P. Rhys Davids in 
Dialogues of thf Buadha, Vol. TIT, p. 187. 

Note. Tbe original Pali text here is also interesting and we quote it in full. 
(' Bhagava pt khattiyo, may am pi khattiya. Mayaifa pi arahama- Bhagava to sarira- 
naifa bhagain, mayarh pi Bhagavato sariranam thupaficn mahafi ca knrissmati." 
DIgha Nikaya, P.T.S., Vol. II, pp. 164-165.) 

* Mahaparinibbana Suttanta in the Dlgha Niknya, P.T.S, Vol. II. pp. 1*4 foil. 
" Bhagava amhakarn nati-seUho." 

SumangalaVilasini, Pt. I, P.T.S. , p. 312. 

" Aham pi Khattiyo, ayam pi Khattiyo va, sac' a^sa nanena va4dhissati ayaik p 
sabbaflfiu bhavissatiti, usuyaya mayham na katheti." 


as good K$atriyas as AjataSatru of Magadha and the other 
Ksatriya peoples in north-eastern India in the Buddha's 
time. In the introduction to the Sigala Jataka, we read 
of a kicchavi girl, " the daughter of a Ksatriya and high- 
born." 1 Dr. Richard Kick in his well-known work, The 
Social Organisation in North-east India in Buddha's time, is 
rather sceptical as to whether the word Ksatriya as used in 
the Pali texts has exactly the same connotation as in the 
ancient Brahmanical literature, while he has no such doubt 
with regard to the Brahmanas. But, as Professor Oldenberg 
observes, there is no ground for this scepticism. "When 
it is admitted," says this distinguished savant, "that the 
families of Gautama, Bharadvaja, etc., were all grouped 
together in the caste of Brahmanas as being pervaded all 
of them by the mystic potency of the Brahman, I cannot 
see why just in the same way, and answering to exactly 
similar modes of expression in the texts, it should not be held 
that families like those of the Sakyas, Licchavis, etc., all 
of whom felt in themselves the potency of the Ksatra nobility, 
aU of whom said, 'May am pi khattiya ' are to be reckoned as 
Wonging to a single caste of the Khattiyas (K$atriyas) a 
single caste of which the members, when they said to each 
other ' I am a Khattiya/ ' I too am a Khattiya/ knew and 
acknowledged each other as persons of the same kind and 
nature." 1 

I ' Iticchari knntarika khattiyadhlta jatisampanna' Jataka edited by V. 
Paiuboll, Vol. II, p. 5. 

Prof. H. Oldenberg, On fte History of th$ Indian Casts System ' translated 
into English from the Z.D.M.G.,VoJ, M, by Prof. H. C. Chakladar, Ind. Ant, Vol. 
XIJZ. V Decem. 1920, p. 227. 

3. Mahavlra, the last Tlrthaiikara of the Jains. 


That the Licchavis were Ksatriyas appears also from the 
Jaina sacred literature. Just as the Licchavis of Vaisall 
honoured the Buddha at his death by erecting a noble monu- 
ment (stupa) over their shares of the remnants of his body, 
so they had, before this, done honour to the memory of the 
great Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, at his death. The 
Jaina Kalpasutrn narrates: "In that night in whicli the 
venerable ascetic Mahavira died, went off, quitted the world, 
cut asunder the ties of birth, old age, and death; became 
a Siddha, a Buddha, a Mukta, a maker of the end (to all 
misery), finally liberated , freed from all pains, the eighteen 
confederate kings of Kasi and Kosala, the nine Mallakis 
and nine Licchavis, on the day of new moon, instituted an 
illumination on the Poshadha, which was a fasting day ; 
for they said : ' since the light of intelligence is gone, let us 
make an illumination of material matter'." 1 The Jaina 
works further tell us, as Professor Jacobi points out, that 
these nine Licchavis were tributary to Cetaka, king of 
Vaisali and maternal uncle of Mahavira 2 who was a Jnatri 
K$atriya of the KaSyapa Gotra, as we read in the Kalpasutra. 
"The venerable ascetic Mahavira belonged to the KaSyapa 
gotra.... The venerable ascetic Mahavira...., a Jnatri Ksatriya, 
the son of a Jnatri Ksatriya ; the moon of the clan of the 
Jnatris ; a Videha, the son of Videhadatta, a native of Videha, 
a prince of Videha," 3 and there are reasons to believe that 
Mahavira was a native of a suburb of VaiSali.* Mahavira's 

Kalpa Sutra $ 128 translated by Prof. H. Jacobi, S B.E.. Vol. XXII, p. 266. 

* Jacobi, op. cit. note I, p. 266. 

v Jacobi, op. cil 108-110. pp. 255-*- * Ibid, pp. x-xii. 


mother, TriSala, is always styled as Ksatriyani, and the 
I/icchavis, therefore, must have been Ksatriyas. That the- 
I/icchavis were looked upon as persons of very high pedigree 
appears from a passage in another work of the Jaina sacred 
literature, the Sutrakritanga, where \ve rend, " A Brahmanu 
or Kgatriya by birth, a scion of the Ugra race or a I/icchavi, 
who enters the order eating alms given him by others, is no! 
stuck up on account of his renowned Gotra." ' 

The Licchavis were Ksatriyas of the Vasistha gotra. 
In the account of the first meeting of the Buddha with the 
Licchavis as given in the Mahavastu Avadana, we read tha' 
the latter in order to avert a plague that was depopulating 
their town, brought the Master to Vaisali with great respect 
and honour, and the Buddha, when speaking to the Licchavis, 
always addressed them as Vasisthas. 4 Again, according in 
the Tibetan Dulva, when King Ajatasatru of Magadlia \va^ 
leading an army against the Licchavis, these latter also 
made preparations to meet him ; and as they were starting 
out, they met Maudgalyayana while he was entering VaiSalf 
to get alms. They asked him whether they would be vic- 
torious. He answered them, " Men of Vasi^tha's race, you 
will conquer."* The Jaina sacred works lay down definitely 
that the K$atriyani TriSala, the mother of Mahavlra, 

1 Jacobi, Jaina Sutras, part II, S.B.E., Vol. XI,V, p. 32:. 

* " Licchavika ahansu. Aiiyadapt Btiagavau. Bhag;u auiiha. o-.i 
Bhutapttrvaxti Va sit tha atitamadhvauc r.'.ucale janapndc Kai-'piU.mnirare Raja 
Brahmadatto naina rajyam karcsi." 

Le Maftavmtu, edited by E. Senart, Vdl I, p. 283. The Jiocb:i\is - re ad'trr^wd 
as Vaii^has many times iu this account, Vol. I, pp. 286. j'So, 290. ^e'.-.\ 

3 Rockhill, Life of the Bnddhn, p. 07 fi. 


:i sister of Cetaka, one of the kings of Vaisali, and belonged 
to the Vai$tha gotra (S.B.K., Vol. XXII, p. xii). We 
read in the Ayaranga Sntra (n. 15. 15): "The venerable 
ascetic Mahavlra'p father belonged to the Kasyapa gotra ; 
he had three names, Siddhartha, Sreyarhsa, and Gasamsa. 
His mother belonged to the Vasistha gotra, and had three 
names, Trisala, Videhadatta and Priyakarim." ] 

Thus we observe that, both according to the Buddhist 
.ind Jaiua Canonical works, the J v icchavis belonged to the 
Vaistha gotra. In the Nepal Variisavali, the Ljcchavis 
have been allotted to the Suryavaiii&i or solar nice of the 
Ksatriyas.* This is quite in agreement with the fact elicited 
1'rom the Buddhist records that they were Vasisthas by 
gotra, for we know from the Aitareyu Brahmana that the 
gotra or pravani of a Ksatriya is the same as that of his 
purohita or family priest, who makes him perform the 
sacrifices. 8 Sir R. G. Bhandarkar also points out that the 
gotra of a Brahmana * f could be assumed for sacrificial pur- 
poses by it Ksatriya, for according to Asvalayana (Sr. S. 
XII, 15.), the Gotra and the ancestors invoked of the 
Ksatriyas are those of their priests or chaplains, and the only 
Ri ancestors that all the Ksatriyas have, are Manava, Aila 
and Paururavasa. The names of these do not distinguish one 
K$atriya family from another and, to answer the purposes 
of such a distinction, the Gotra and ancestors of the priest 

Jacobi, Jaina Sutras, S.B.E., Vol. XXII, p. 193- 
Indian Antiquary, Vol. XXXVII, p. 79- 
Aitarcya Brahmana, Ch. 34, Kanda 7, verse 25. 


are assumed." ' The Vasistha gotra was, therefore, the gotra 
of their family priest, and we know that the Vasisthas were 
the family priests of the kings of the solar race, especially 
of the Iksvakus; there is thus an agreement between the 
Nepal Vamsavali and the evidence from the I5uddhi-t 
sources, and the Jaina records also corroborate the same. 
As Professor Jacobi observes, "According to the Jaiuas, the* 
Licchavis and Mallakis were the chiefs of Kasl and Kosal.i. 
They seem to have succeeded the Aiksvakas who ruled there 
in the times of the Raniayaiia." : The vSauskrit epiV tolls us 
that the city of Vaisali wi-* founded hy Visah, a SDH of 
Iksvaku nud ths heavenly uymn 1 !, AlamvusaV \vhib th-.' 
Visnu Pin-ana substitute.-; Tm'ibi.idii, a later sciosi of th-? 
Iksvaku family, as the father i-f thv. 4 opouyin'ju-. her.). -vli-> 
founded the city. This shows at lea-t dial a I the time 
when these Brahmanical Sanskrit bo-jks were c.i'iiposed. th ' 
ruling family of Vaisali was believed to have been descends! 
from the Iksvakus. 

We may point out here that in the Mahapannibbana 
vSuttanta, the Mallas of Kusinara are addressed by the vener- 
able Anuruddha and the venerable Ananda as Vasetthas, 4 
that is, Vasisthas; thus corroborating the Jaina account 
of the close connection of these two Ksatriya tribes, both 
having the same gotra. In the Sanglti Sutta of the DIglii 

i Sir 11. Cr. Bhandarkar, Vaisnavism, Saivism, and minor Reliijiw Systems., p. 12. 

* Jacobi, Jaina Sutras, Part II, p. 321, note 3. 

4 Ramavana, Bombay edition, Balakanda, Ch. 47, verses 11-12. 
"Itavakostu naravyaghra putra'.i paramadhurmika. AlanivuSLiyaui utpcuiMo 
visiila itivi^rutah " (n) " teuacasidiha sthane Visaleti purl krita " (12). 

* Buddhist Sultas, S.B.E., Vol. XI., pp. 121-122. 


Nikaya, we find the Mallas of Pava ulso addressed as 
Vasetthas by the Buddha. 1 Their 

Kinship with the ... 7 > 

Maiias and the Sakyas. association with the Mkyns is ako \veil- 
known. We read in the Karma- Sataka 
(a French translation of the Tibetan version of which, ha* been 
given by M. L. Kcer) thot Prabodli,i (>'ub-snd). king of tlu- 
Yrjis, gave away his two daughters, Lily a and Mahamfiya, a-; 
brides to Suddhodaua, son of Simhahauu.' Decides, the 
Mahavastu tells us of a contest at archery in which the 
Licchavi princes were asked to take part bi-t- \\\(*\- v vciv 
incapable of doing so and at last the i>odhis-^{ i .iu\.\.-;.-:iaJ/ 
Rockhill in his Life of the ttudjhj. derivvd mi Tii-i-lau 
works, speaks of a tradition according \ .vliic'i, tlu- 
Sakyas and the J/icchavis are bniiidiori of t*u: -v.u-- ] -pL* 
He refers to Sanang Sctseii, who * k in his Iiv.iry \-l t)u 
IJasteru Mongols, p. JT, says that the Saky.i rao.- ,io whicl- 
the Buddha belonged) was divided into three parts, whose 
most celebrated representatives were Sakya the ( Treat (the 
Buddha), Sikya the I/iccliavi, and Sakya tiic I\Iountaineer. 
Gnya Khri bstan po, the first Tibetan king, belonged to the 
family of Sakya the Licchavi." 4 The above legend is of 
very little historical value but it shows at least that the 
Sakyas and the Licchavls were considered to be allied 

We have seen above the affinity of the I/icchavis with 

Dialogues of the. Buddha, Part III. p. 2o.. 

i Karma>sataka,2o. 11. 7, Tun lat-d from Tibetan by M. L. Peer, Reprint, 
p. 40. 

3 Seuart, Mahavastu Avaddna, Vol. II, p. 70. 

* Rockhill, The Life of the Buddha (popular edition), p. 203, note. 


the Mallas and the Sakyas. Now we come to the account of 
the mythical origin of the Licchavis, 
which can be gathered from Buddha- 
ana HiefljvaUya ha 

dakapatha : 

' There was an embryo in the womb of the chief queen 
of Benares. Being aware of it, she informed the king who 
informed the rites and ceremonies for the protection of it. 
With the embryo thus perfectly protected, the queen entered 
the delivery chamber when it was fully mature. With ladies 
>f great religious merit, the delivery took place at the dawn 
of day. A lump of flesh of the colour of lac and of bandhu 
;ind jJvaka flowers came out of her womb. Then the other 
queens thought that to tell the king that the chief queen was 
delivered of a mere lump of flesh while a son, resplendent 
like gold, was expected, would bring the displeasure of the 
king upon them all; therefore, they, out of fear of exciting 
displeasure of the king, put that lump of flesh into a casket, 
and after shutting it up, put the royal seal upon it, and 
placed it on the flowing waters of the Ganges. As soon as it 
was abandoned, a god wishing to provide for its safety, wrote 
with a piece of good cinnabar on a slip of gold the words, 
"The child of the chief queen of the King of Benares " and 
1 ied it to the casket. Then he placed it on the flowing current 
of the Ganges at a place where there was no danger from 
aquatic monsters. At that time an ascetic was travelling 
along the shore of the Ganges close by a settlement of cow- 
herds. When he came down to the Ganges in the morning, 
and saw a vessel coming on, he caught hold of it thinking that 


it contained rags (pamsukula), but seeing the tablet with the 
words written thereon and also the seal and mark of the 
King of Benares, he opened it and saw that piece of flesh. 
Seeing it, he thus thought within himself : " It may be an 
embryo, and there is nothing stinking or putrid in it," and 
taking it to his hermitage, lie placed it in a pure place. Then 
after half a month had passed, the lump broke up into two 
pieces of flesh ; the ascetic nursed them with still greater care. 
After the lapse of another half a month, each of the pieces 
of flesh developed fine pimples for the head and the two 
arms and legs. After half a month from that time, one of 
the pieces of flesh became a son resplendent like gold, and 
the other became a girl. The ascetic was filled with paternal 
affection for the babies and milk came out of his thumb. 
From that time forward, he obtained milk with rice ; the rice 
he ate himself and gave the babies the milk to drink. What- 
ever got into the stomach of these two infants looked as if 
put into a vessel of precious transparent stone (mani), so 
that they seemed to have no skin (nicchavi) ; others said : 
' l The two (the skin and the thing in the stomach) are attached 
to each other (lina-chavi) as if they were sewn up together" ; 
so that these infants owing to their being niccliavi, i.e., having 
no skin, or on account of their being Linachavl, i.e., attached 
skin or same skin, came to be designated as Licchavis. The 
ascetic having to nurse these two children had to enter the 
village in the early morning for alms and to return when the 
day was far advanced. The cowherds coming to know this 
conduct of his, told him, " Revered sir, it is a great trouble 
for an ascetic to nurse and bring up children ; kindly make 


over the children to us, we shall nurse them, do you please 
attend to your own business." The ascetic assented gladly 
to their proposal. On the next day, the cowherds levelled 
the road, scattered flowers, unfurled banners and came to 
the hermitage with music. The ascetic handed over the two 
children with these words: "The children are possessed of 
great virtue and goodness, bring them up with great care and 
when they are grown up, marry them to each other ; please 
the king and getting a piece of land, measure out a city, and 
instal the prince there." "All right, sir," promised they, 
and taking away the children, they brought them up. The 
children, when grown up, used to beat with fists and kicks, 
the children of the cowherds whenever there was a quarrel 
in their sports. They cried and when asked by their parents , 
"Why do you cry?" They said, "These nurselings of the 
hermit, without father and mother, beat us very hard." 
Then the parents of these other children would say, " These 
children harass the others and trouble them, they are not to 
be kept, they must be abandoned. (Vajjitabba.)" Thence- 
forward that country measuring three hundred yojonas is 
called Vajji. Then the cowherds securing the good will 
and permission of the king, obtained that country, and 
measuring out a town there, they anointed the boy, king. 
After giving marriage of the boy, who was then sixteen years 
of age, with the girl, the king made it a rule : "No bride is 
to be brought in from the outside, nor is any girl from here 
to be given away to any one." The first time they had two 
children a boy and a girl, and thus a couple of children 
was born to them for sixteen times. Then as these children 


were growing up, one couple after another, and there was no 
room in the city for their gardens, pleasure groves, residential 
houses and attendants, three walls were thrown up round 
the city at a distance of a quarter of a yojana from each 
other; as the city was thus again and again made larger 
and still larger (ViSalikata), it came to be called Vesali. 
This is the history of Vesali.' ' 

The Pajavaliya,* a Ceylonese Buddhist work, also 
gives the same account though with some slight variations. 

A ,_ ^ M , These stories, of course, are entirely 

Another mythical * ' 

account in the Puja- mythical and must have grown up m 

va ya * very recent times, there being no evidence 

in the sacred canon itself to corroborate any part of the 
narrative. It shows at least that the Licchavis were 
regarded as Ksatriyas. 

The two derivations of the name, Licchavi, oifered by 
Buddhaghosa in the above story, are no 
doubt entirely fanciful. Licchavi is the 
name of a race or tribe. The people must 
have acquired that name ages before they come to our notice 
in the pages of the Buddhist or Jaina literature, or in Kau- 
tilya's Arthaastra. Attempts at finding a derivation for 
the word are at best only ingenious and are very likely to be 
fanciful. Buddhaghosa' s derivations must have been invent- 
ed in a late age when the Licchavis had acquired great 
renown and power, and it was found necessary to find out 

i Paramatthajotika on the Khuddakapafhe edftcd Jy H. Smith, P.T.S., pp. 

a Speuce Hardy, Manual of Buddhism, 2nd edition, 1880, pp. 242-243. 


some meaning for the word which is rather peculiar and 
defies easy analysis by the ordinary rules of grammar. 
Hence they were associated with some myths, and we have 
the fanciful explanation given above. But it must be ob- 
served that the two derivations suggested by the great 
commentator are almost exactly the same as those given in 
Chinese Buddhist works. According to the Shan-hsien-lu 
(Chapter 8) the word "Licchavi" (or Lecchavi) is said to 
mean ' skin thin ' or ' same skin, ' the name being treated as a 
derivative of cchavi (clichhavi) which means 'skin.' 1 These 
are the same as Buddhaghosa's Nicclizvi or c no skin/ that is, 
'thin skin' and 'linachavi' or 'joined skin,' that is, f same 
skin.' This close agreement between the two sets of analysis 
and interpretation shows that both of them most probably 
drew materials from a common source. 

The story recounted by Buddhaghosn has no historical 
value, yet it is significant that even according to this account, 
the Licchavis were of Ksatriya origin. There can be no 
doubt of this fact, and it is clear that at the time the 
great Buddha andMahavlra lived and preached, the Licchavis 
were recognised as Ksatriyas who held their heads very 
high on account of their high birth and with whom the highest 
born princes of eastern India considered it an honour to enter 
into matrimonial alliance. We have seen how the great 
and powerful king Ajataaatru was always designated by the 
family name of his mother in the Pali Buddhist Tripitaka. 
Even two centuries later than the above two great preachers, 

T. Walters, On Yuan Chvartg. Vol. II, p. 77. 


in the time of Candragupta, the Licchavis were of equal 
rank and position with the great Ksatriya peoples of Northern 
India, viz. : the Madras in the North-west, the Kimi-Pancalus 
in the central region, and the M alias and others in the east 
the tribes who were organised as corporations of warriors 
and lived upon their position as rajas, that is, as owners of 
land deriving an income Irom their tenants. 

Coining down to the time when the present code of 

Manu was composed, we find that the Licchavis were still 

looked upon as Ksatriyas though of the Vrat}M variety. 

Manu says, "from a Vratyaof the Ksatriya 

LicchavisteManu^ ^^ ^^ ^ jj^ ^ ^^ 

the Licchavi, the Nata, the Karana, the 
Khasa, and the DravMa.'" (Manu S. x. 22.) And imme- 
diately before this, Manu takes care to tell us what he exactly 
means by the term Vratya ; he says, " Those (sou^) whom 
the twice-born beget on wives of equal caste, but who, not 
fulfilling their sacred duties, are excluded from the Savitri, 
one must designate by the appellation Vratyas." 2 (Manu 
S. x. 20.) The expression avratah (not fulfilling their 
sacred duties) in the above verse, means, as Dr. Biihler 
points out, s ' not being initiated at the proper time,' on the 
authority of what Manu himself states in an earlier chapter, 
where he fixes the upper limits of the age before which the 
initiation of the twice-born castes must take place. We 
read, " The (time for the) Savitri (initiation) of a Brahmana 
does not pass until the completion of the sixteenth year 

i Biihler, Laws of Manu, p. 406. 

* Ibid, pp. 405-406. s Ibid, pp. 405-406, note 20. 


(after conception), of a K^atriya until the completion of the 
twenty-second and of a Vateya until the completion of the 
twenty-fourth. After those periods, men of these three 
castes who have not received the sacrament at the proper 
time, become Vratyas (outcastes) excluded from the Savitri 
(initiation) and despised by the Aryans." 1 Here, in the defi- 
nition of the term Vratya as well as the upper limit of the 
initiation, Manu is in agreement with the earlier lawgivers, 
Gautama, Apastamba, VaSistha and Baudhayana. 2 Now 
from the passages of Manu quoted above, it will be seen that 
Manu states explicitly that the Vratya is a person whom a 
twice-born begets on a wife of equal caste and not on a wife 
of an inferior or of a superior caste, as is the case with the 
Anulomas and the Pratilomas, but the Vratya is looked upon 
with disfavour by the orthodox people on account of his 
failure to get himself initiated at the appointed time. In the 
case of the I/icchavis, therefore, there is no question that 
they were pure Ksatriyas by origin, but what is averred 
about them is that they were not very careful in obeying the 
regulations about initiation and perhaps similar other matters, 
like the people in the MadhyadeSa, 8 the central region, 
where the Brahmanic form of faith prospered and continued 
in its pristine vigour. An interesting chapter in the history 
of the social systems in India in early times has been opened 
by M. M. Haraprasad Sastri's interpretation of the word 
vratya as used in the Atharvaveda. He says, " He (a Vratya) 

Biihler, Laas of Manu, pp. 36-37. 

Gautama, XXI, n, Apa. i, I etc. Vas XI, 74-79, Baudh. I. 16, 16. 
*> See Manusaiihita, II. 21. 


is not as we commonly understand him savitrlpatitah, a 
fallen Aryan, but he is an Aryan outside the Vedic circle, 
an Aryan outside the AntaradeSa, the tract inhabited by 
the Vedic Aryans. He is on all sides of the Vedic settlement. 
He has no Brahmanic culture, no trade, no commerce. He 
is a warrior and a keeper of flocks. He has no permanent 
settlement and lives in a temporary one called Vratya. 
They roam about in hordes. They fight the Vedic Aryans." 
The learned scholar further says, "They are admitted to all 
the privileges of the Vedic Society they can study the 
Vedas, perform the sacrifices, entertain Brahmanas with food 
cooked by themselves, see mantras and even compile the 
Brahmanas. They were in fact nomadic hordes of Aryans, 
but when they assumed a settled life, they were fully ad- 
mitted into the Vedic society.' 1 (J. A. S. B., Annual address, 
New Series, Vol. XVII, 1921, No. 2.) From what we know 
of the religious history of the Licchavis as a people, it is but 
natural to expect that they would fall off from the strict 
observance of the Brahmanic regulations. We have seen 
that Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, was of their very kin 
and most probably a fellow townsman and we also know 
that his followers were many among the residents of Vaisali, 
even among the highest officers as we see in the case of Siha. 
Then, again, the fact that the Licchavis as a people had won, 
as we shall see in the chapters that follow, the good graces 
of the great Buddha as well as of the followers of the religion 
preached by the Enlightened One, appears to have been 
predominant in the Licchavi country during the centuries that 
intervened between the origin of Buddhism and the advent 


of Manu, the date of whose work, the Manu-smrti, according 
to Prof. Biihler, is about 200 B.C. 200 A.D.' During this 
long interval when the two great heretic faiths flourished in 
their country, it is but natural to expect that the Licchavis 
were not very particular about initiation and similar other 
ceremonies and practices that were required to be performed 
by the regulations of the orthodox Brahmins. Hence, we 
can very well understand how Manu, the great Brahmin 
law-giver, came to dub the I^icchavis as Vratyas and we 
have seen how the author of this code has taken care to 
avoid any chance of misunderstanding the exact connotation 
of the term Vratya. He had already defined it in the second 
chapter of his book, yet he explains it again and says speci- 
fically that the term does not imply any of the castes, that 
a Vratya is begot by a twice-born person on a wife of the 
same caste and hence the Licchavis were of pure Ksatriya 
parentage on both sides. To claim the authority of this pass- 
age of Manu in support of a theory of non-Aryan origin 
of the Licchavis is quite unwarranted. 

The above discussion, we hope, will also explain what 
the lexicographers and the author of the Vaijayanti declare 
about the origin of the lyicchavis, viz., that they were sons 
of a Ksatriya Vratya and a Ksatriya. * They have, all of 
them, followed Manu and a separate discussion of their 
statements is unnecessary. 

J Biihler, Manu, Introduction, p. CXVII. 

* See Monier Williams, Sanskrit English Dictionary, 1899, p. 902. 

The Vaijayanti, edited by Gustav Oppert, p. 76- 

"Licchivhn ksatriya Vralyat." 


At the same time, however, it must be admitted that. 
the Licchavis had not entirely fallen off from the Bmhmanic 
society : in the fourth century A.D., just as Ajatasatru had 
gloried in the title of Vedehiputto, the son of a daughter of 
Videha people, that is, of the Licchavis who occupied the 
Videha country, so also it vas considered a glory to an 
orthodox Gupta Emperor to have been a Licchavi-duuhitra 
or the son of a daughter of the Liccliavis. 

Dr. Fleet who has edited the inscriptions in which the 

(yupta-Licchavi connection is mentioned, 
Gu J2SJSSSl vl observes, " Proof of friendly relations bet - 

ween the early Guptas and the Licchavi:-, 
at an early time, is given by the marriage of Candra Gupta I 
with Kumara Devi, the daughter of Licchavi or of a Licchavi 
king. And that the Licchavis were then at least of equal 
rank and power with the early Guptas, is shewn by the pride- 
in this alliance manifested by the latter ; exhibited in the 
careful record of the names of Kumara Devi, and of her 
father or her family, on some of the gold coins of Candra 
Gupta I., and by the uniform application of the epithet, 
' daughter's son of Licchavi or of a Licchavi/ to Samudra 
Gupta in the geneological inscriptions." l Fleet even goes 
so far as to declare "that in all probability the so-called 
Gupta era is a Licchavi era, dating either from a time 
when the republican or tribal constitution of the Licchavis 
was abolished in favour of a monarchy ; or from the com- 
mencement of the reign of Jayadeva I., as the founder of a 

J. Fleet, Gupta Inscriptions Corpus Ins. Ind., Vol. III. Introduction, p. 


royal house in a branch of the tribe that had settled in 
Nepal." ' The fact that this royal house that was planted 
by the Licchavis in Nepal about the period 330 to 355 A.D. 
by Jayadeva I. * was all along Brahmanical, proves that the 
Licchavis had not entirely dissociated themselves from the 
Brahmanic faith. We thus observe that the power and glory 
of the Licchavis during the period of Brahmanic revival 
under the Guptas were as great as under the 6i3unakas and 
the Mauryas and that their position as one of the leading 
and honoured Ksatriya families in Eastern India was fully 

Before leaving this question of origin, it remains for us to 
refer to the two theories about the Tibetan and Persian 
affinities of the Licchavis started by the late Drs. V.A. Smith 
and Satis Ch. Vidyabhusana respectively. Dr. Smith's con- 
clusion about the Tibetan affinity rests on the agreement 

,.,. _ ,. A that is observed between the Tibetans and 
me Late Dr. \ . A. 
smith's theory the the Licchavis in the custom of exposure 

Tibetan orgin. . . , 

of the dead and in judicial procedure. 
We shall discuss these two points one by one. The preval- 
ence among the Licchavis of the practice of exposing the dead 
to be devoured by wild animals is vouched for by a passage 
in Deal's Romantic Legend of $akya Buddha 8 derived from 
Chinese sources. There we have the description of a visit 
paid by the Bodhisatta (Gautama) to a cemetery at Vai&ali 
where the Rsis are stated to have answered his question there- 
anent. " In that place the corpses of men are exposed to be 

Cotpus Ins. Ind., Vol. Ill, p. 136 * Ibid., p. 135- 8 pp.i59-i6o- 


devoured by the birds ; and there also they collect and pile 
up the white bones of dead persons, as you perceive ; they 
burn corpses there also, and preserve the bones in heaps. 
They hang dead bodies also from the trees ; there are others 
buried there, such as have been slain or put to death by 
their relatives, dreading lest they should come to life again ; 
whilst others are left there upon the ground that they may 
return, if possible, to their former homes." From this state- 
ment Dr. Smith argues, " whatever obscurity may exist in 
this passage, it certainly proves a belief that the ancient 
inhabitants of Vaisali disposed of their dead sometimes by 
exposure, sometimes by cremation, and sometimes by burial. 
The tradition is supported by the discoveries made at pre- 
historic cemetries in other parts of India, which disclose 
very various methods of disposing of the dead." 1 He then 
concludes from the similarity which these customs oi the 
disposal of the dead bear with those of Tibet that theLiccha- 
vis had Tibetan affinities. But it may be observed that we 
need not go to Tibet for these customs, inasmuch as they were 
prevalent among the Vedic Aryans from whom the Ucchavis 
were descended. We read in the well-known funeral hymn 
of the Atharva Veda (XVIII. 2.34.).* 

"They that are buried, and they that are scattered 
(vap) away, they that are burned and they that are set up 
(uddhita) all those Fathers, O Agni, bring thou to eat the 

l Indian Antiquary, Vol. XXXII, 1903, p. 234. 

* " Ye nikhata ye paropta ye dagdha ye coddhitah sarvamslangna a vaha pitrin 
havise attave." 

Atharvaveda Samhita edited by R. Roth and W. D. Whitney, p. 339. 


we take the date of this event to be 487 B.C., as the late 
Dr. V. A. Smith thought, or what is more probable, to be 544 
B.C., the traditional date maintained by the Ceylonese 
Buddhist monks, it is simply absurd to identify the Licchavis 
with the followers or subjects of Darius who were exploring 
the Indus about 515 B.C. 

It remains for us to refer to another theory about the 

foreign origin of the Licchavis, started by 

Be Yue. t chi. ry ~ Seal, viz., that they were <Yue chi. ' ' It 

hardly requires to be refuted as the Yuc- 

chi came to India about the beginning of the Christian era and 

the Licchavis were a highly civilised and prosperous people 

in the fifth and sixth centuries before Christ, when the 

Ephthalites or white Huns had not started from their original 

home in the east. 

1 The Life of Hiuen-Tsiang by Beal, Intro, p. xxi; 


Vaisali, f the large city ' par excellence is renowned in 
Indian history as the capital of the 
Vai * SIi tlice. imp r " Ucchavi rajas and the headquarters of 
the great and powerful Vajjian confeder- 
acy. 1 This great city is intimately associated with the early 
history of both Jainism and Buddhism, it carries with itself 
the sacred memories of the founders of these two great faiths 
that evolved in north-eastern India, five hundred years be- 
fore the birth of Christ. 

Vaisali claims the founder of Jainism as its own citizen. 
The Sutrakritariga/ one of the Jaina 

ValftaG and Mahavira. 1 , , 

canonical works, says about Mahavira, 
the last Tlrthahkara of the Jainas as follows: "Evarn se 
udahu anuttaramani anuttaradamsi anuttarananadariisana- 
dhare araha Nayaputte bhagavam Vesalie Viyahie (vyakhy- 
atavan) iti betni." "Thus spoke the Arahat Jnatriputra, 
the reverend, famous native of VaiSali, who possessed the 
highest knowledge and the highest faith, who possessed 
(simultaneously) the highest knowledge and faith." * This 
passage is also repeated in another Jaina work, the 
Uttaradhyayanasutra with a slight variation. 4 Mahavira 
is spoken of as Vesalie or VaiSalika i.e. a native of Vaiali. b 

1 Rhys Davids, Buddhist India, p 40. * i- 2. 3. 22. 

s Jacobi, Jaina Sutras, S. 13. B., pt. II. p. 261. 
* Ibid, pt. II, lecture VI, 17. p. 27. 
6 Ibid, pt. I, Introduction, XI. 


Moreover Abhayadeva in his commentary on the Bhagavati 
2, i. 12, 2. explains Vaisalika by Mahavira and speaks of 
Visala as Mahavira jananl or 'the mother of Mahavlra." 
besides, from a comparison of the Buddhist and Jaina 
scriptures, it appears that Kundagrama, the birthplace 
of Mahavira, was a suburb of VaiSali. 2 Mahavira' s mother 
Trisala was a sister to Cetaka, one of the so-called rajas of 
that Licchavi city." The Jaina Kalpasutra speaks of the 
connection of Mahavira with the Videha country and its 
capital, Vaisali in these words: "The venerable ascetic 
Mahavira a Videha, the son of Videhadatta, a native of 
Videha, a prince of Videha had lived thirty years in Videha 
when his parents went to the world of the gods (i.e. died) and 
he with the permission of his elder brother and the authorities 
of the kingdom fulfilled his promise" 4 of going out to f 'estab- 
lish the religion of the law which benefits all living beings in 
the whole universe." F) During his later ascetic life also 
Mahavira did not neglect the city of his birth and we are told 
!>r the TCilrw Siitra thnt out of the forty-two rainy seasons 

Weber, Imlische .stndien. Band XVI, p. 26s. 

'Audi Abhayadeva zii Bhag. 2. I. i.-. 2. erkljrt Vaicalika durch Mahavira, 
:\ ni /.war als Metrotivmicum (') : Vic.'ila Malta virajaiiaiiJ." 
? Jacobi, Jaina Sutras, S. !,. K-. Vol. XXII. pp. X-XI. 

- Ibid. p. XIJ. 

* Jacobi, Jaina Sutras, Vol. 1, p. jj'i, Kalpa Sutra, 5} no. 

' Sauianebhagavam Mah.ivire d.ikkhe dakkhapalnnc padiruve alline bhaddae 
vim? uiie uayaputteunvakularaude videho videhadiuiie videhajacu, videhasamale 
tisaiitvasaiiii Videhaihsikattu ammfipi ihiiii devattagaehim gurumahattaraehim 

ubbhanunnate saiuattap.iinue punaraviloyanti ehitit jiyakappiehitii evam 


/Kalpa Sutra, Dhanpat Siiigha's edition, pp. 64-65.) 

^ Jacobi, Jaina Sutras, Vol. I, Kalpa Sutra. in. 


of this period of his life, he passed no less than twelve at 
VaiSall. 1 

The connection of the Buddha with Vai&all is no less close 
and intimate. This city was hallowed by 

Va Buddf. thc the dust of his feet earlv in his career 
and man> of his immortal discourses 
\vere delivered here either at the mango-grove of Amba- 
pall, in the outskirts of the city or at Katagarasala in 
Mahavana, the great forest stretching out up to the Hima- 
layas. The Exalted One was charmed with the conduct of 
the Vajjis or Licchavis residing within the town and looked 
upon them with kindness and approbation. The seven points 
of excellence with which he characterised the Licchavis in 
answer to the queries put to him by the Ministers sent- by 
King Ajatasatru of Magadha, are very well-known ; we see 
there, how he spoke of the unimpeachable character of the 
people of VaiSali and tried to dissuade the Magadhan King 
from making fruitless attempts at robbing the people of that 
noble city of their independence. It is evident that the En- 
lightened One had a soft place in his heart for this mighty 
and noble people and their splendid and extensive capital. 
And when at last the days of his earthly existence were 
drawing to a close, he paid a last visit to the city that had 
received his blessing and affection, the city that was always 
ready to honour and worship him and as the Enlightened 
One felt within himself that the end was drawing nigh, that 
this was the very last view that he would ever have of this 

' Jacob! , Jaina Sutras. Kalpa Sutra, 122. 


beautiful town, he cast a 'longing, lingering look behind/ 
In the words of the Mahaparinibbana Suttanta, the Book of 
the Great Decease, f^ when the Exalted One had passed 
through Vesali, and had eaten his meal and was returning 
from his alms-seeking, he gazed at Vesali, with an elephant 
look," ' (that is, turning the whole body round as an elephant 
does, as Buddhaghosa explains), and then addressed the 
Venerable Ananda, and said : This will be the last time, 
Ananda, that the Tathagata will behold Vesali ^ 

Even after the Exalted One had entered into Nirvana, 

VaiSali again drew to itself the care and 
' attention of the whole Buddhist Church, 

but this time it was not on account of the 
many good qualities of character and powers of organisation 
of its citizens, but of the objectionable tenets held by the 
VaiSali monks who twisted and turned the noble precepts 
of the Great Preacher to suit their own convenience and to 
lead a life of less austerity and greater enjoyment of the 
good things of the earth than the Master permitted; for 
example, they would have fresh meals even after the midday 
dinner and would accept gold and silver. The representatives 
of the entire congregation met at VaiSali itself and condemned 
in no equivocal terms the conduct ^of its pleasure-seeking 
bhikkhus. This was the second general council of the Bud- 
dhist Church. 8 

i Nagapalokitam Vesaliyam apaloketvft (Dialogues of the Buddha, pt. II, 
P Hi*-). 

> Dialogues of the Buddha, pt. II, p. 131. 

* Kern, Manual of Indian Buddhism, pp. 103-109. 


We have referred to a few only of the incidents connecting 
the great city of the Licchavis with the history of the growth 
and development of the Jain and Buddhist communities; 
there are innumerable references to the city and its people 
in their literature especially in the Buddhist Canon. 

To the fanciful stories told !>y Buddhaghosa of the origin 
.. . *,.-.- of the town, we have already referred in 

Foundation of Vaisali. ' J 

the previous chapter. We may, however, 
glean from them two outstanding facts, namely : that the 
city was founded by the Licchavis and that the area covered 
by the town was very extensive ; in fact, it owes its name 
VaiSali to its being ViSala or very large and wide in area. 
Valmiki in the Balakanda 1 of the Ramayana tells us a story 
(to which we have already referred ) of the foundation of the 
city which is different from that of Buddhaghosa. He says 
that it was founded by a son of Iksvaku and the heavenly 
nymph (Apsara), Alambusa ; after his name Visala, the city 
itself came to be called ViSala. The Vi^nupurana says 
that it was Trnabindu, who according to 
the geneological tree preserved in the 
Puranas, was descended from Iksvaku 
and had by Alambusa a son named Viala, who founded the 
city of VatealL 8 

The Ramayana further tells us that when Rama and his 
brother lyaksmana, guided by the sage Viswamitra, crossed 
the sacred river Ganges and reached its northern shore, on 
their way to Mithila, the capital of the royal sage, Janaka, 

^ Chap. 47, Verses n and 12. 

* The Visnupurana by II. H. Wilson, Vol. Ill, p. 246. 


they had a view of the city of Vaisali. It does not tell us that 
it was exactly on the bank of the river, but it says that "while 
seated on the northern shore they saw the 
The J^unt a * a town/ 11 It might be that the distant tow- 
er s or the pinnacles of the temples met their 
gaze as they cast their glance northwards. Then the Rama- 
yana story continuing says that the eminent travellers went 
to the city of ViSala which was an excellent town (Uttama 
purl), " charming and heavenly, in fact a veritable svarga." 2 
Viswamitra, the guide, narrates here a fairly long mythologic- 
al account to show the importance of the locality where 
Indra himself had sojourned for about a thousand years. 
Then the Rsi goes on to say that the Iksvaku prince ruling 
over the country at the time was Sumati by name, and adds 
that by favour of Iksvaku, the father of the eponymous 
founder of the city and the ruling dynasty, all the kings of 
Vaigali (sarve Vaisalika nrpah) were long lived, high souled, 
possessed of strength and power and highly virtuous. 3 One 
may very well question whether the author of the Ramayana 
has here an overt allusion to the Rajas of VaiSall in the 
phrase 'VaiSalika nrpah.' From all the mythical stories 
above referred to, it is apparent that the name of the city 
had something to do with viSala or extensive in area, and 
from what we read of the description of the ruins that Yuan 

I Rainayana (Bombay Edition), chap. 45, verse 9. 

' Uttaramtiramasadya samptljyarsigan tfa tatah Gaugakiile nivistaste Visalam 
dadrisuh purim." 

* Ramayana (Bombay Edition), chap. 45, verses 10 and u. " Visalam nagarirfi 
ramyaxn divyam svargopamam tadu " ( 10). 

Ramayana (Bombay Edition), chap. 47, verse 18. 


Chwang saw in the seventh century after Christ, there can 
hardly be any doubt of its wide extent. The Chinese traveller 
relates, " The foundations of the old city VaiSali were sixty or 

seventy li in circuit and the 'palace city ' 
Yua AcSSS? g ' 8 (** the walled part of the city) was four 

and five li in circuit." ' This would mean 
an area of about twenty miles in circumference for the outer 
town; and the " Palace-city " of Yuan Chwang perhaps 
represents the earliest of the three cities which, according to 
Buddhaghosa, were built to accommodate the Licchavis as 
they were growing rather fast; but its area would not in that 
case agree with the statement that each of the three walls was 
at a distance of a gavuta (gavyuti) or a quarter yojana, that 
is roughly a league from the other. 

The description of Buddhaghosa is also supported by the 
mu Jatakatthakatha to the Ekapanna Jiitaka 

The Jataka Account. J i{ L ' , , 

where we are told, At the tune of the 
Buddha, the city of Vesali was encompassed by three walls at a 
distance of a gavuta from one another and that at three 
places there were gates with watch-towers and buildings."" 
The three walls are adverted to in the Atthakatha to the 
Lomahamsa Jataka also. 8 

The Tibetan Dulva (iii f. 80) gives the following des- 
cription. ' ' There were three districts in 

The Dulva account. . . ,_ , - ^ -. . . , 

Vai^ali. In the first district were seven 

1 Watters, on Yuan Chwang, vol. II, p. 63. 
* Jataka (Fausboll) Vol. I, p. 504. 

" Vesalinagararii gavutagavutantare tihi pakarehi parikkhitt.ini tisu thAnesu 
Ibid, vol. I, p. 389. 


thousand houses with golden towers, in the middle district 
were fourteen thousand houses with silver towers, and in the 
last district were twenty-one thousand houses with copper 
towers ; in these lived the upper, the middle and the lower 
classes according to their positions." ' 

Dr. Hoernle in his English translation of the Jaina 
work, Uvasagadasao, advances the suggestion that the three 
districts here referred to in the Dulva and 
the Atthakatha, ' may very well have 
been Vesall proper, Kundapura and Vani- 
yagama occupying respectively the south-eastern, north-east- 
ern and western portions of the area of the total city. Be- 
yond Kundapura, in a further north-easterly direction lay the 
suburb (or 'station/ sannivesa) of Kollaga (see 7) which 
appears to have been principally inhabited by the Ksatriyas 
of the Naya (or Jnatri) clan, to which Mahavira himself 
belonged ; for in 66 it is described as the Naya-kula."* 
He further observes that the phrases used in the Ayaranga 
Sutra like "Uttara-Khattiya-Kundapura-sannivesaor dahina- 
m&hana-Kundapura-sannivesa," "do not mean the northern 
Kgatriya (resp. Southern Brahmanical) part of the place 
Kundapura, but the northern K^atriya, etc., suburb of 
Kundapura i.e. that suburb (sannivesa) of the city of Kunda- 
pura, which lay towards the north and was inhabited by the 
(Naya clan of) Katriyas; it was distinguished from the 
southern suburb of the same city (Kundapura or Vesali) 
which was inhabited by the' Brahmins. This interpretation 

J Rockhill, Ijfe of the Buddha, p. 62. 

* Hoernle, Uvasagadasao, vol. II, Translation, p. 4. Note. 8. 


is confirmed by the parallel phrases in Kap 22. (et passim), 
Khattiya-Kundagame Nayare and Mahana-Kundagame 
Nayare, which are rightly translated by the Katriya (resp. 
the Brahmanical) part of the town Kundagama." 1 He 
also points out that "the phrase ucca-niya majjhimaim 
kulairh, ' upper, lower and middle classes/ applied to the 
town of Vaniyagama iu sections 77, 78 (of the Uvasagadasao) 
curiously agrees with the description of Vesall given in 
the Dulva." * The passage in the Uvasagadasao above 
referred to is the one in which Goyama, the senior disciple 
of Mahavlra, addressed him thus : "I desire, Reverend 
Sir, with your permission, as the turn for the indulgence of 
my sixth meal has arrived, to go round the city of Vaniya- 
gama, to the upper, lower and middle classes, on a begging 
tour of house-to-house collection/" 

The great founder of the rival faith of Buddhism must 
have paid many visits to the I jcchavi 
c capital and the reports of at least two 
besides that already referred to, are pre- 
served in Buddhist books. The earliest of his visits has been 
described at length in the Mahavastu. 4 We are told there, how 
the people of VaiSali were troubled by a frightful pestilence 
which was laying their country waste and how they found 

1 Hoerulc, Uvasagadasao, vol. II, p. 5. 

* Hoernle, Uvasagadasao, vol. II, Translation, p. 6. 
Ibid, p. 52. 

" Iccbami nath, bhante, tubbhehiiii abbha^unae chat^akkhfttnanaasa parapa- 
gatiisi vaniyagame nayare uccanlya majjhimaim kutairfi gharasamuddabhikkh a 
ariyae aditUe " (upasakadasaosutram, voL I, p. 36, para 77, Boernle's edition). 

* Le Mahavastu. Ed. by . Senart, vol. T, p. 253, F. 


all their efforts to stay the desolating plague entirely 
fruitless and in their dire distress sent for various holymen 
of great renown who failed to afford them any relief and as 
a last resort they sought the help of the Enlightened One 
who resided at the time at Rajagrha, the Magadhan capital. 
The people of VaiSali sent a deputation headed by Tomara, 
a Licchavi chief of power and position, and at the same 
time of great learning, to Rajagrha to bring the Exalted 
One to their city. Tomara went to Rajagrha, fell down at 
his feet and sought his help with supplications, but was 
asked to apply to the King Srenika Bimbisara who insisted 
on the condition that the Licchavis must welcome the 
Buddha at the border of their own dominions and that he 
himself would follow the great teacher to the boundaries of 
his own territory. To this the Licchavis readily assented 
and Bimbisara secured the consent of the Buddha to save 
the Licchavis from the decimating disease. 

To impress the Licchavis with an idea of his power and 
opulence, the Magadhan King had the road all the way 
from Rajagrha to the Ganges, which formed the boundary 
between the two dominions, levelled, rendered clean like 
the palm of the hand, decorated with flags, garlands and 
richly embroidered cloth; besides, the whole road was 
watered, flowers were freely scattered upon it and the smoke 
of rich incense perfumed its whole length. He himself 
followed the Enlightened One with his whole court and 
numerous retinue. The Licchavis both the Abhyantara- 
VaiSalakas, the Vaisall-cockneys proper, living within the 
walls of the city and the Bahira-Vai alakas, the people living 


in the outer town the suburbs and surroundings came in 
all their splendour and magnificence, in all the glory of their 
dazzling garments, blue, purple, green, yellow, brown and 
crimson ; their appearance as they approached was so splendid 
and ravishing that even the Great Buddha was impressed 
with the sight and said addressing the monks, " Bhikkhus, 
you have never before beheld the Trayastrimsa gods as they 
go out of their city Sudarsana to the garden. Behold now 
the Licchavis of VaiSali who equal those gods in their pros- 
perity and splendour. Look at the Licchavis with their 
elephants, with umbrellas of gold, their gold-covered litters, 
their chariots decorated with gold. See how they all come, 
both the young and the aged, as also those of middle age, all 
with ornaments on, with garments dyed crimson with lac 
and advancing with various beautiful movements. " The 
Licchavis of VaiSali decorated the road from the Ganges to 
VaiSali with a magnificence that left the preparations made 
by the Magadhau king far behind, they provided for the 
comfort of the Exalted One and the congregation of monks 
on a still more lavish scale. As soon as the Enlightened One 
crossed over to the northern side of the river and stepped 
on the Licchavi soil, all malign influences that had hung over 
the country and were making a havoc among the people, 
vanished, and the sick and the suffering were restored to 
health. The Licchavis received him with all honour and 
reverence and guided him to their city, by easy stages with 
all the comfort and convenience that they were able to pro- 
vide for him. Entering the city, the Enlightened One uttered 
the svastyayana-gatha, the song of welfare, or according to 


the Pali scriptures, the Ratana Sutta ; they asked him 
whether he would live among the people of inner Vai&li or 
of outer Vaigali. The Exalted One would not live among 
either of them, but he accepted the invitation 1 of BhagavatI 
GoSrngI in the Mahavana, the great forest extending from 
their city far away to the north. 

The Licchavis who wished that the Exalted One might 
be induced to live in their city, built the Kutagarasala, the 
peaked monastery, for him in the forest and paid their respects 
to him there. They offered it to him and 
the Buddhist congregation and the Bless- 
ed One permitted the bhikkhus to reside 
there. One day the I/icchavis on coming to the Mahavana 
learnt that Blessed One had repaired to the Capala-Caitya for 
spending the day ; they proceeded thither and presented it to 
him and the congregation of the Sravakas or Buddhist monks. 
Similarly finding the Enlightened One spending the day 
at the Saptamra-Caitya, the Bahuputra-Caitya, the Gautama - 
Caitya, the Kapinahya-Caitya and the Markata-hrada-tira- 
Caitya j the Licchavis made a gift of all these places of 
worship to the Exalted One and the 

Shrines dedicated- to 

the Buddha and the Buddhist Church. Next the courtesan, 
(ganika) Amrapali made a gift of her ex- 
tensive mango-grove to the congregation and similarly Balika 
made over Balikachavi* which is evidently the same as the 
Balikarama of the Pali Buddhist books. 8 On this visit to their 

i Le Mahavastu, Bd. by Sen art, Vol. I, pp. 295-299. 
Le Mahavastu, Ed. by Senart, Vol. I, p. 300. 
' Vinaya Texts, S.B.E., pt. Ill, p. 408. 


city, the Enlightened One delivered i many discourses to the 

people of Vai&ali and established the Buddhist faith on a 

_ JJW , M strong foundation at the capital of the 

Buddha 'e discourse m ** f 

Buddhist faith esta- Licchavis as he had already done at 
Rajagrha, the capital of their rivals, the 
Magadhas. A similar account differing in slight details is 
given by Buddhaghosa in the introduction to his commentary 
on the Ratana-Sutta. He says that VaiSali was suffering 
from three troubles famine, pestilence and sprites. We read 
in the Buddhist books of many occasions when the En- 
lightened One paid visits to Vateali in the course of his 

The Mahavagga tells us of an occasion when the Blessed 
One on his way from Rajagrha to VaiSall 
noticed bhiksus with a superfluity of 
dress, 'almost smothered up in robes, 1 
going along with their robes made up into a roll on their heads 
or on their backs or on their waists. The Blessed One stayed 
on that occasion at the Gotamaka Caitya; it was winter, 
the time between the Astaka festivals when the snow was 
falling and the Blessed One determined, by personal ex- 
perience, the least quantity of robes that would suffice for 
keeping off the cold and preached accordingly to the Bhik- 
khus. 1 The Cullavagga* speaks of another occasion when 
the Blessed One lodged in the Katagara Hall in the Mahavana 
and the water being unfit for drinking, the use of strainers 
and filters was permitted for the Bhiksus. This time, the 

i Vinaya Texts, pt. II, S.B.B., pp, 210-211. 
9 Ibid, pt. Ill, S.B.E., p. 10 1. 


Bhiksus partaking freely of the abundant store of sweets 
offered by the laity, fell ill and were cured by the advice of 
Jivaka Komarabhacca, the great physician. The sojourn 
of the Buddha on this occasion appears to have been rather 
long and the great teacher taught the Bhiksus many matters 
connected with the sort of houses they were to build and live 
in ; and this time also the Blessed One ordered the sarhgha to 
turn down the bowl as regards Vaddha, the Licchavi, who 
had brought a false charge against one of the brotherhood 
but afterwards relented on Vaddha again making due re- 
parations. The Cullavagga tells us of another visit when the 
Blessed One stayed in the Kutagarasala in the Mahavana 
and spoke on the conduct of the Bhiksus with regard to 
the building of new houses for the use of the Order. 

We read of the Buddha coming down to Vaisall from 
Kapilavastu and staying there at the Kutagara Hall in the 
Mahavana. This was the great occasion when Mahapajapati 
Gotamij the foster-mother of the Blessed One, came with a 
number of Sakya ladies from Kapilavastu and through the 
intercession of Ananda, obtained permission for women 
c to go forth from the household life and enter the homeless 
state under the doctrine and discipline proclaimed by the 

From the accounts that we get from the Buddhist books 
whether Pali or Sanskrit, we observe that 
VaiSali is represented as a town that was 
rich and prosperous. The Mahavagga, 

i Vinaya Texts, pt. Ill, p. 322. 


one of the oldest books of the Pali Canon, tells us that at the 
time the Buddha lived, VaiSall "was an opulent, prosperous 
town, populous, crowded with people, abundant with food ; 
there were seven thousand seven hundred and seven storeyed 
buildings, and seven thousand seven hundred and seven 
pinnacled buildings, and seven thousand seven hundred and 
seven pleasure grounds (aramas) and seven thousand seven 
hundred and seven lotus-ponds." 1 

A similar account of the prosperity of Vaisali is given 
in the Lalitavistara when the gods in the Tusita heaven 
were holding a discussion with regard to the family that 
would be the most suitable for the Bodhisattva to be born 
in. Some of the Tusita gods, the devaputras in advancing 
the claims of Vateali for this great honour said, " This great 
city of Vaisali is prosperous and proud, happy and rich with 
abundant food, charming and delightful, crowded with many 
and various people, adorned with buildings of every des- 
cription, with storeyed mansions, buildings with towers, and 
palaces, with noble gateways and charming with beds of 
flowers in her numerous gardens and groves. This resemb- 
ling the city of the gods, is indeed fit for the birth of the 
Bodhisattva." 1 This recommendation was not accepted 
on other grounds, but the passage speaks of the splendour 

1 Vinaya Texts, pt. II, S.B.E., p. 171- 

a Lalitavistara, Ed. by Leftnann. Chap. Ill, p. 21. " lyam Vaisali mahanagari 
ridtlhaca sphitaca khemaca subhikkhaca ramanlya cakirnabahujanamanussa ca 
vitardi-niryuhatoravagavaksha-harmyakutagaraprasadatalasamal^krita I-A pus- 
pavatika-vanarajisaxhkusumita ca. Amarabhavanapuraprakasya sapratirupasya 
Bodhisattvassa garbhapratisarfisthanayeti." 


and prosperity of the capital of the Licchavis. It was a 
prosperous and gay city, full of music. 1 

We next come to the accounts of the city left by the 
Chinese travellers of whom F5 Hien visited it at the beginning 
of the fifth century A.D., that is, about a 
thousand years after the time the Buddha 
lived and delivered his discourses. Fa 
Hien says," "North of the city so named is a large forest, 
having in it the double-galleried vihara where Buddha dwelt 
and the tope over half the body of Ananda." 

The double-galleried vihara is evidently the Kfltagarasala 
in the Mahavana which stretched right up to the Himalayas 
as Buddhaghosa explains in his Sumangalavilasini to the 
Mahali Sutta in the Digha-Nikaya. In commenting upon 
the word, "Mahavana," he says, "outside 
the town lying in one stretch up to the 
Himalayas, there is a natural forest which 
on account of the large area covered by it, is called Maha- 
vana/' 8 (" Bahinagare Himavantena saddhim ekabaddham 
hutva thitam sayan-jata-vanam atthi, yammahantabhavena 
Mahavanam ti vuccati.") Legge remarks on the above quoted 
description given by Fa Hien of the KatSgara- Vihara, "it 
is difficult to tell what was the peculiar form of this Vihara 
from which it got its name ; something about the construc- 
tion of its door, or cupboards or galleries." 4 Here also 
Buddhaghosa offers a comment explaining the origin of the 
name. "In that forest was established a samgharama or 

1 Pausboll, Dhammapada, old Ed. p. 391. l^gge, Fa-Hien, p. 73. 

8 Sumafigalavilasini, pt. I, (P.T.S.), p. 309. * Ugge, Fa-Hien, p. 73. Note. I. 


monastery. A pasada or a storeyed building was built on 
pillars and putting a pinnacle above, it was made into a 
kOtagarasala resembling a chariot of gods (devavimana). 
From it, the whole samgharama or monastery is known as 
Katagarasala." 1 This agrees with the description of the 
double-galleried vihara, given by Fa-Hien. The upper 
storey was evidently built upon a large number of pillars 
instead of walls and on the top there was a peak or kata, 
so that there were two galleries, one below and the other 
above, and from the upper storey rose a pinnacle as we see 
in the vimanas or rathas referred to by Buddhaghosa. Yuan 
Chwang who visited the city more than two hundred years 
after Fa-Hien, found this great vihara in ruins. " To the east 
of the tope of the Jstaka narrative," the pilgrim continues, 
" was a wonder-working tope on the old foundations of the 
'two-storey Preaching Hall' in which Ju-lai delivered the 
P'u-men-t'o-lo-ni and other satras. 1 ' 2 The "two-storey 
Preaching Hall" is no doubt the KQtagara Hall of two 
storeys as described by Buddhaghosa and as spoken of by 
Fa-Hien. This is also evident from what Yuan Chwang 
says immediately after the above passage. "Close to the 
remains of the Preaching Hall," the pilgrim says, " was the 
tope which contained the half-body relics of Ananda." 8 
The story of the parinirvana of Ananda and the division 

l Sum. V. pt. I, P.T.S., p. 309. * Tasmin vanasande sanghararaam patittha- 
pesuna. Tattha kannikaita yojetva thaihbhanaifa tipari Kutagarasala-sariikhepena 
deva-vimana sadisaih pasadarfi akariisu. Tarn upadaya sakalo pi samgharamo Kata 
garasala ti panflayittha." 

* Wattera, On Yuan Chwang, Vol. II, p. 71. 

3 Watters, On Yuan Chwang, Vol. II, p. 71. 


of the remnants of the body has been told by Fa-Hien and 
the same account is also given in the Tibetan works. Fa- 
Hien narrates " When Ananda was going from Magadha 
to VaiSall, wishing his parinirvana to take place (there), the 
devas informed King AjataSatru of it and the king pursued 
him, in his own grand carriage, with a body of soldiers and 
reached the river. (On the other hand), the Licchavis of 
Vaisali had heard that Ananda was coming (to their city), 
and they on their part came to meet him. (In this way), 
they all arrived together at the river, and Ananda considered 
that, if he went forward, King AjataSatru would be very 
angry, while if he went back, the Licchavis would resent his 
conduct. He thereupon in the very middle of the river 
burnt his body in a fiery ecstacy of samadhi, and his pari- 
nirvana was attained. He divided his body (also) into two, 
(leaving) the half of it on each bank ; so that each of the two 
kings got one half as a (sacred) relic, and took it back (to his 
own capital), and there raised a tope over it." ' 

Yuan Chwang's account of the country of which VaiSali 
was the capital, agrees pretty well with the tradition of its 

prosperity preserved in the Buddhist 
Yua acco h u^? ng ' 8 bo ks. We read, " The VaiSall country 

is described by the pilgrim as being above 
five thousand li in circuit, a very fertile region abounding in 
mangoes, plaintains and other fruits. The people were 
honest, fond of good works, esteemers of learning, and 
orthodox and heterodox in faith." 

Legge. Fa-Hien. pp. 75~77- 


In the Tibetan works, a similar account is given of the 
prosperity and opulence of VaiSall which is invariably des- 
cribed in the Dulva as a kind of earthly 
Tibetan Account. 

paradise, with its handsome buildings, its 

parks and gardens, the singing birds and continual festivities 
among the Licchavis. " Nanda, Upananda ! " exclaimed the 
Chabbaggiya Bhikshus when they visited Vaisali, "the 
Blessed One never saw the like of this, even when he was 
among the Trayastrimcat devas." (Dulva X. f. 2.) l The 
Romantic Legend of Sakya Buddha 9 translated by Beal from 
Chinese sources, gives an account similar to that in the 
Ivalita-Vistara. 8 Here we read of a god in the Tu^ita heaven 
who speaks thus, "This Vajora country has a city called 
Vateali, rich in every kind of produce ; the people in peace 

and contentment ; the country enriched 
Chinc vaU C a C K Ullt f and beautiful as a heavenly mansion; 

the king called ' Drumaraja ' ; his son 
without the least stain on his scutcheon ; the king's treasur- 
ies full of gems, and gold and silver ; perhaps you will be 
born there." 

The identification of Vaisali, the capital of the Licchavis, 
had long been a point of discussion among scholars. General 

Cunningham with his immense know- 

IdCn vai C 8aii! n f led S e of the c untr y and of the Buddhist 

literature, identified the present village 

of Basarh in the Muzafferpur district in Tirhut as marking 

the spot where stood VaiSall in ancient days* and M. 

i Rockhill, Life of the Buddha, p. 63. * ? 28. 

< Ed. by Dr. S. Lefmann, Text, p. 21. 

* Arch. S. Report, Vol. I, pp. 55, 56 and Vol. XVI. p. 6. 


Vivien de Saint Martin agreed with him, but the evidence 
that led Cunningham to arrive at this conclusion was not 
put forward with such fulness and clearness as the question 
deserved; so that scholars had doubts as regards 
identity. Rhys Davids says that the site was quite 
uncertain and that the site of VaiSali had still to be looked 
for somewhere in Tirhut. 1 Dr. W. Hoey sought to establish 
the identity, though on very insufficient evidence, of 
Vai&li with a place called Cherand in the ChaprS or Saran 
district. "Cherand stands on the northern bank of the 
Ganges, in approximately N. lat. 25 41 and E. long. 84. 55, 
about seven miles south-east from Chapra.'" This identi- 
fication has been proved to be entirely untenable by V. A. 
Smith in his paper on Vafeali 8 from which we have quoted 
above; and he has succeeded in establishing that the identi- 
fication by Cunningham of the village of Basarh with VaiSali 
admits of no doubt. This identity has been proved still 
more decisively by the Archaeological explorations carried 
on in 1903-04 by Dr. T. Bloch on the site. Dr. Bloch ex- 
cavated a mound called Raja Vislal ka garh and only eight 
trial pits were sunk. This was very insufficient considering 
the importance of the place. Three distinct strata have been 
found, the uppermost belonging to the period of Mahomedan 
occupation of the place, the second at a depth of about fiye 
feet from the surface, related to the epoch of the Impelfal 
Guptas and the third at a still greater depth, belonging to 

Rhyt Davids, Buddhist India, p. 41. 

J.A.S.B. 1900, Vol. UC1X. pt. i, pp. 78, 79, 80, 83. 

I V. A. Smith, J.R.A.S. 1902, p. 267, n. 3. 


an ancient period of which no definite date could be obtained, 
it being "represented only by a few scattered fragments, too 
scanty to offer any conclusive evidence as to their precise 
date or character." l The finds in the second stratum, 
however, are of very great value especially the find in one 
of the small chambers of "a hoard of seven hundred clay 
seals evidently used as attachment to letters or other 
literary documents. They belonged partly to officials, 
partly to private persons, generally merchants or bankers, 
but one specimen bearing the figure of a liiiga with a trisflla 
on either side and the legend 'Amratakevara' evidently 
belonged to a temple." 2 

The names of certain Gupta kings, queens and princes 
on some of these seals, coupled with palaeographic evidence, 
clearly demonstrate that they belonged to the fourth and 
fifth centuries after Christ when the Imperial Guptas were 
on the throne. 3 Some of the impressions show that the 
name Tlrabhukti (the original form of Tirhut) was applied to 
the province even in those early times and some show the 
name of the town itself, VaiSali. One of the clay seals of a 
circular area, shows a female standing in a flower group 
with two attendants and two horizontal lines below reading 
(i) [Vai] alyam-araprakrti-[Ku]-(2) tumbina [m] "(Seal) 
of the householders of at VaiSali." * Another seal also ap- 
pears to have a similar legend. These things go to prove 

i Sir John H. Marshall , Arch. Surv. of India, Annual Report, 1903 14. P- 74- 

* Arch. Surv. of India, Annual Report, 1903-04, p. 74. 
S Sir John H. Marshall, Ibid. p. no. 

* Sir John H. Marshall, Arch. Surv. of India, Annual Report, 1903-04* P- "> 


* V 

the identity of the site with VaiSali and there seems to be no 
ground to question this conclusion any longer. But it must 
be noted that the results sol far obtained by excavations are 
very meagre, and it is a great pity that the Archaeological 
Department had to give up the explorations for shortness of 
funds. We know not what invaluable materials for the 
history of India might lie^ buried under the earth in the 
mounds of Basarh as at other ancient sites in India. 


We have seen that the Licchavis were included in the 
f great Vajjian confederacy that domi- 

Constitueni elements , - , ... . . 

oi the vajjian confed- nated over the Vajji or Vrji country. 
and C> ~other confed- But sometimes Vajji and Licchavi were 
used indiscriminately as synonyms- At 
the time the Buddha lived, "the Vajjis were divided into 
several clans such as the Licchavis, the Vaidehis, the Tlra- 
bhuktis and so on and the exact number of those clans would 
appear to have been eight as criminals were arranged before 
the Atthakftlaka or eight clans which would appear to have 
been a jury composed of one member from each of the sepa- 
rate divisions of the tribe." ' 

All these Vajjis lived in great amity and concord which 
was a particular mark of their confederacy and this union 
coupled with their martial instincts and the efficiency of their 
martial institutions made them great and powerful amongst 
the nations of north-eastern India. 2 Their sympathy for 
one another was exemplary. If a lyicch- 
*vi &U , the other Licchavis came 
to see him. The whole clan would join 
any auspicious ceremony performed in the house of a Licch- 
avi ; if any foreigner of rank and power paid a visit to the 

J Cunningham, Ancient Geography of India, p. 447- 

Buddhist Suttas, S.B.E., Vol. XI, p. 3; vide also Tumour, Pali Buddhistical 
Annals, No. 5, J.A.S.B. Dec. 1838, p. 992. 



Licchavi capital, they would all go out in a body to receive 
him and do him honour. 1 

The young Licchavis were very handsome in appearance 

and very fond of brilliant colours in their 
ET^iKSSr dress and equipages.* The Buddha on 

his first meeting with the Licchavi nobles 
in their gay attire and rich and splendid equipages of various 
colours, was led to compare them to Tavatimsa gods. A 
similar account we get from the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, 
when the Licchavi nobles went out for the last time to meet 
the Blessed One as soon as they learnt that he had arrived 
at Vafeali and was staying at the mango-grove of Ambapali 
in the outskirts of their city. " Ordering a number of 
magnificent carriages to be made ready, they mounted one 
of them and proceeded with their train to Vesali. Some of 
them were dark, 8 dark in colour and wearing dark clothes 
and ornaments ; some of them were fair, fair in colour, and 
wearing light clothes and ornaments ; some of them were red, 
ruddy in colour, and wearing red clothes and ornaments; 
some of them were white, pale in colour, and wearing white 
clothes and ornaments. 1 ' 4 Exactly the same description of 

' Sumangala-vilasmi (Burmese edition) pp. 103-105. 

< Walters, On Yuan Chwang, Vol. II, p. 79. 

Nila (Dlgha Nikaya, Vol. II, p. 96) has been translated as ' dark' by Rhys 
Davids ; though for the complexion this may be a fair rendering, it is not so for the 
attire and the equipage. 

* Buddhist Suttas, S.B.&., Vol. XI, p. 31. " Atha kho te Licchavi bhaddani 
bhaddani yanani yojapetva bhaddani yanama bhiruhitva bhaddehi bhaddehi yanehi 
Veaaliya niyyimsu. Tatr' ekacce Licchavi nlla honti, nil a v anna, nila-vattha, nfla- 
lankara, ekacce Licchavi pita honti. . . .ekacce Licchavi lohitaka. . . .ekacce Licchavi 
odata honti. (Mahaparinibbana suttanta.) 



the colours favoured by the Licchavis is given in the Angut- 
tara Nikaya, 1 which shows that the Licchavis wore these 
colours not only on great festive occasions but in their ordi- 
nary daily life also. Once while the Enlightened One was 
staying at the Kfctagarasala in the Mahavana, five hundred of 
the Licchavis were seated round him doing obeisance. Some 
of them were nlla or blue all over in clothes and ornaments 
and similarly others weie yellow, red or white. We may 
compare these descriptions with the more detailed account 
in the Mahavastu of the colours preferred by the Licchavis. 
Thus says the Sanskrit Buddhist work: t( There are Licchavis 
with blue horses, blue chariots, blue reins and whips, blue 
sticks, blue clothes, blue ornaments, blue turbans, blue 
umbrellas and with blue sword, blue jewels, blue footwear 
and blue everything befitting their youth" 2 and here the 
Mahavastu quotes a verse, apparently from an older work or 
a traditional saying. In the very same terms the Mahavastu 
speaks of the Licchavis decked all in yellow (pita) and in light 
red, the colour of the Bengal madder (manjistha), in red 
(lohita), in white (sveta), in green (harita), and some in 
variegated colours (vyayukta). 8 

Perhaps the Licchavis were divided into separate septs 
as Senart suggested, distinguished by the 
C Lte^& colour! 1 * colour worn by each ; otherwise it is diffi- 
cult to explain why the same colour 

' Anguttara Nikaya, P.T.S., pt. Ill, p 239. 

* Mahavastu, Vol. I. p. 259, for the text. The author is responsible for the 
English translation. 

* We have here followed the interpretation, suggested by Senart, of Vyayukta 
(vide Mahavastu, note, p. 574); this meaning, however, is very doubtful. 


should be preferred for trappings of the horses, decorations of 
their carriages, as well as the articles of dress adorning their 
own persons. There was moreover a profusion of gold and 
jewels in everything in their equipage carriages drawn by 
horses, gold-bedecked elephants, palanquins of gold set with 
all kinds of precious stones. Altogether there went out of the 
city of Vesali twice eighty-four thousand 
conveyances decked in pearl and gold, 
with all the wealth and splendour of 
kings, (rajarddhiye and samrddhiye). 

All this speaks of a people who were greatly prosperous 
and in affluent circumstances and it may be expected that 
they would be given to luxury and indolence. But this was 
not their character at the time when Buddha lived and 
preached among them. The Saiiiyutta Nikaya pcserves a 
saying of the Exalted One : ' f Look ye Bhikkhus here, how 
these Licchavis live sleeping with logs of 
wood as Pilaws, strenuous and diligent, 
(appamatta) zealous and active (atapino) 
in archery. Ajatasattu, Vedehiputto, the Magadhan king, can 
find no defect in them, nor can he discover any cause of 
action (against them). Should the Licchavis, Oh Bhikkhus, 
in the time to come, be very delicate, tender and soft in their 
arms and legs, should they sleep in ease and comfort on 
cushions of the finest cotton up till the sun is up in the 
heavens, then the Magadhan king, Ajatasattu, Vedehiputto, 
will find defects and will discover cause of action. " ' This 

Sariiyutta Nikaya, (P.T.S.) pt. II pp. 267-268 



testimony of the Buddha goes to show that the Licchavis 
were hardy and active, ardent and strenuous in their military 
training, so that their enemies could have no chance of getting 
them at a disadvantage. 

The Licchavis used to kill animals on the 8th, I4th and 
i5th day of the lunar months and eat 

Not vegetarians. . 

their flesh. l 

They were fond of manly pastimes such as elephant 
training and hunting. Among the Psalms of the Brethren 
(Theragatha), we find one composed by 
Vajjiputtaka, the son of a Licchaviraja 
at Vaisali, who became known among 
the followers of the Buddha as the Vajjian's son and who, in 
. , . . his early life, was engaged in training 

Passion for hunting J ' " 

tempered by Buddha's elephants. The Ahguttara Nikaya nar- 

influence. - , , , _ . , 

rates how a large number of Licchavi 
youths, armed with bows, ready with strings, set and sur- 
rounded by a pack of hounds, were roving about in the 
Mahavana but finding the Buddha seated at the foot of a tree 
in the forest, threw away their bows and arrows and sending 
away the pack of hounds sat by the Great Teacher subdued 
by his presence, silent and without a word, in a reverent 
attitude with the palms joined. A Licchavi of apparently 
advanced years, Mahanama by name, who came to pay his 
respects to the Buddha, expressed his great wonder at the 
sight of the Licchavi youths, full of life and vivacity, notor- 
ious for their insolent and wanton conduct in the city, thus 

I Divyavadana (Cowell and Neil), p. 136. 

9 Psalms of the Brethren, By Mrs. Rhys Davids, p. 106 


sitting silent and demure, in an attitude of reverence before 
the great teacher ; he pointed out the defects in their cha- 
racter, the defects that are found in youngmen of every 
country where the people are rich and powerful and of an 
imperious temper. " The Licchavi youths, Oh Lord !" goes 
on Mahanama, "are rude and rough and whatever presents 
are sent to the families, sugarcane or plums, cakes, sweet- 
meats or preparations of sugar, these they plunder and eat 
up, throw dust at the ladies of respectable families and girls 
of good families; such youngmen are now all silent and 
demure, are doing obeisance with joined palms to yourself, 
OlyOrd." } Here we get an insight into the daily life of 
these young cockneys glorying within the walls of the city 
of VaiSali. It shows that the young VaiSalians, though they 
indulged in the pranks and peccadillos of youth, were not 
so wild as to lose all sense of reverence or respect due to 
religious men. 

"In the Buddha's time, the young Licchavis of the city," 

says Watters, "were a free, wild, set, 
ts very handsome and full of life and Bud- 

dha compared them to the gods in Indra's 
Heaven. They dressed well, were good archers, and drove 
fast carriages, but they were wanton, insolent and utterly 
irreligious/' * This is an exaggeration and is probably based 
on the Chinese translations of such passages as the following 
from the Lalitavistara, where some of the Tusita gods were 
pointing out the defects in the character of the VaiSalians 

' Afcguttara Nikaya, P.T.S., pt. Ill, p. 76. 
* T. Watters, On Yuan Chwang, Vol. II, p. 79. 


when their city was recommended by others among them as 
a suitable place of birth for the Bodhisatta. These Deva- 
putras in the Tugita heaven averred, " Vai&ll is unfit. What 
is the reason ? Look here. They do not speak with pro- 
priety towards each other, there is no practice of religion 
among them, nor obedience to those in high or middle posi- 
tion, nor to the old and the elders. Each one of them thinks, 
' I am a king, and I am a king.' They do not accept the dis- 
cipleship of any one, nor the religion of any one. Therefore 
is VaiSali unfit. 1 " Whatever might have been the opinions 
of these ' sons of heaven ' before the birth of the Bodhisattva, 
they must have changed their opinions about the people of 
VaiSali who showed such remarkable veneration towards the 
Enlightened One and received such marked favour from him. 
Do we not often read of five hundred I/icchavis visiting him 
at the KatagaraSala surrounding him and doing obeisance 
to him. The only conclusion we can draw from the above 
account in the Lalitavistara, is that the Licchavis were rather 
independent in character and would not easily accept a sub- 
ordinate position to any one whether in politics or in religion 
or in ordinary daily life. 

Vaddha, a Ucchavi, at the instigation of some dishonest 
Moral coura e Bhikkhus, had preferred a false charge of 

ora coura e. against Dabba, a Mallian, but 

Vaddha afterwards made a clean breast of the whole ugly 
plot as soon as he saw the measure of his iniquity. * 

' Lalitavistara, ed. by S. Lefmana, Vol. I, p. 21. " Apara uhuh sapyaprati* 
riipi. ,tcna sapyapratirupa." 

Vinaya Texts, S.B.B.. pt. Ill, pp. 118-125. 


Then again the statement that the Licchavis did not 

Regard for elders. res P ect their elders or were irreligious, is 
in direct contradiction of what the Bud- 
dha said about them to Vassakara, the Magadhan minister. 
" So long as they honour and esteem and revere and support 
the Vajjian elders, and hold it a point of duty to hearken 
to their words so long as no women or girls belonging to 
their clans are detained among them by force or abduction 
so long may the Vajjians be expected not to decline, but to 
prosper. " l 

The Licchavi youths went to distant countries for 
education. We read of a Licchavi nain- 

Lovc of education. 

ed Mahali who went to Taxila to learn 
ilpa or arts and returned home after completing his educa- 
tion It is said that he in his turn trained as many as five 
hundred Licchavis who also, when educated, took up the same 
task and in this way education spread far and wide among the 
Licchavis* and some of them went so far as to write poems. 
For instance, we find in the Theragatha 8 that a Vajjiputta, 
the son of a Licchaviraja at VaiSali, composed a psalm. 

Nor were the fine arts neglected by this gifted people. 
Artisans such as' tailors, goldsmiths and jewellers must have 
been very much in requisition at the city of Vaisali to furnish 

the &* r beS f SeVen thousand seven 


tion of palaces and hundred and seven rajas or nobles, and 

shrines, etc. . 

we can very well imagine what a great 

i Dialogues of the Buddha, part II, p. 80. 

* Fausboll, Dhammapada, (old. Ed.) p. 211. 

8 Psalms of the Brethren, By Mrs. Rhys Davids, p. 106 


strain the artisans were put to in order to devise suits of dress 
and ornaments to fit up the variously coloured Licchavis, the 
blues, the reds, the yellows, the greens and the whites. The 
art of architecture also was much developed in Vateall ; the 
magnificent palaces of the L,icchavis are spoken of in the 
Lalitavistara. 1 They were equally enthusiastic in the build- 
ing of temples, shrines, and monasteries for the Bhikkhus ; 
and we are told that the Bhikkhus themselves superintended 
the construction of these buildings for the order. The 
Cullavagga of the Vinaya Pitaka tells us also how on one 
occasion when the Enlightened One was staying at the peak- 
roofed-hall in the Mahavana, "the people were zealously 
engaged in putting up new buildings (for the use of the order), 
and as zealously provided .with the requisite clothes, and 
food, and lodging, and medicine for the sick, all such Bhikkhus 
as superintended their work."* We are further told how a 
poor tailor of Vaisall intent on building himself a house for 
the Samgha, raised the walls of such a house, but, as the 
Cullavagga tells us, " by his want of experience the laying 
was out of line and the wall fell down." Then the poor tailor 
felt disturbed, grew angry and murmured thus: "These 
Sakyaputtiya Samanas exhort and teach those men who 
provide them with the requisite clothes, food, lodging, and 
medicine, and superintend their buildings for them. But I 
am poor and no one exhorts or teaches me or helps me in my 

' Ulitavistara, Chap. 3, p. 23. (Bibliotheca Indtca Series.) 
* Cullavagga, VI, translated by Drs. Rhys Davids and Oldenberg, S.B.B., 
Vol. XX, pp. 189-190. 


building. 111 This passage shows that some of the Bhikkhus 
themselves were master builders who supervised the erection 
of houses for the Buddhist order, just as in the mediaeval 
times in Europe we find the monk excelling in many of the 
fine arts including painting, sculpture and architecture. 
The lyicchavis of Vaisali had built many shrines or caityas 
inside and outside their great city and we have seen from the 
Mahavastu passage quoted in the last chapter, with what 
great liberality and magnanimity they delivered over the best 
among them to Buddha and the Buddhist Church. That 
these caityas were beautiful and fine buildings where one 
might prefer to dwell as long as one liked, even to the end 
of the kalpa, appears from a passage in the Digha Nikaya 
where Buddha while staying at the Capala caitya said about 
each of the caityas that it was charming and then suggested 
to Ananda that the Tathagata might be inclined to live there 
for a kalpa* or the remaining part of a kalpa, meaning perhaps 
that in such beautiful surroundings, life would be pleasant 
and worth living. 

About the marriage rites ot the Licchavis, it is said in 
the Tibetan books that there were rules restricting the 
marriage of all girlsborn in VaiSali, to that 
city a i one ^ey state ^ ^he people of 

Vaisali had made a law that a daughter 
born in the first district could marry only in the first district, 
not in the second or third ; that one born in the middle 

Cttllavagga VI, translated by Drs. Rhys Davids and Oldenberg, S. B.B. , Vol. XX , 
p. 190- 

t Buddhist Suttas, S.B.E., Vol. XI, p. 58. 


district could marry only in the first and second ; but that 
one born in the last district could marry in any one of the three ; 
moreover, that no marriage was to be contracted outside 
VaittU." 1 A passage in the BhikkhunI Vibhanga Sanghadi- 
desa* indicates that a Licchavi who wanted to marry could 
ask the corporation or the I^icchavigana to select a suitable 
bride for him. They appear to have a high idea of female 
chastity ; violation of chastity was a serious offence amongst 
_ them. Buddha himself says that no 

Chastity . 

women or girls belonging to their dans 
are detained among them by force or abduction."* The 
Petavatthu Atthakatha gives a story of a Licchavi raja 
named Ambasakkhara who was enamoured of the beauty of 
a married woman, whose husband he engaged as an officer 
under him ; he wanted to gain her love but was foiled in his 

The punishment for a woman who broke her marriage 

Marriage Contract VOW WLS Very severe * the husband COtlld 

inviolable its excep- with impunity even take away her life. 
But even an adulterous woman could save 
herself from the punishment by entering the congregation of 
nuns by getting the pabbajja ordination, as can be seen 
from the Bhikkhuni Vibhanga Sanghadidesa.* 

' Rockhill, Life of the Buddha, p. 62. 

* Bhikkhuni Vibhanga Sanghadidesa II Vinaya Pitakam Ed. by H. Oldenberg, 
Vol. IV, p. 225. 

Buddhist Suttas, S.B.E., Vol. XI, pp. 3-4. 

Petavatthu- Atthakatha, Sinhalese edition, Simon Hewavitarana's Bequest 
Series, No. i, pp. 154-156; See my The Buddhist conception of spirits," pp. 40-51- 

t Vinaya Pifaka by H. Oldenberg, Vol. IV, pp. 225-226. 


A Licchavi wife committed adultery. The husband warn- 
ed his wife many times but she heeded not. 

n examp e. ^^ Licchavi informed the Licchavigana 

that his wife had committed adultery and he was resolved 
to kill her ; he then asked the gana to select a suitable wife 
for him. When the lady heard that she would be killed, 
she took her valuables, went to Savatthi and asked for pab- 
bajja (ordination) from the titthiyas, by whom, however, 
she was refused : then she went to the bhikkhunis who in 
a body also refused ; at last she went to a bhikkhuni who 
was persuaded to give ordination to her and thus she was 
successful. The Wcchavi went to Savatthi and saw his wife 
ordained, complained to king Pasenadi of Kosala, who asked 
him to show his wife. The I v icchavi informed the king that 
she had become a bhikkhuni. The king said that as she had 
become a bhikkhuni, no punishment could be inflicted on 
her. After the occurrence of this event, an agitation was 
set on foot among the Z,icchavis who reported the matter to 
the Buddha who told the bhikkhunis that they should not 
give ordination to such a woman. 1 Thus we see that cases 
of adultery were tried by the Licchavigana. 

We have already referred in Chapter I, to the various 

methods prevalent among the Licchavis with regard to the 

disposal of the dead. Besides cremation 

Disposal of the dead. r 

and burial, the custom of exposing the 
dead to be devoured by wild animals seems to have been 
in existence in Vaigali. When the Bodhisatta was at 

Bhikkhuni- Vibhaaga Saftghadidesa, Vol.11, p. 225. 


Vaisali, he is said to have observed a cemetery under a 
clump of trees and enquired about it from the Rsis 
who explained that the corpses of men were exposed 
to be devoured by birds and there they used to collect and 
pile up the white bones of dead persons. They burnt corpses 
there and the bones were preserved in heaps ; the corpses 
were hung from the tree? ; there were others buried there 
such as had been killed by their relatives fearing lest they 
should be born again while others were left upon the ground 
that they might return if possible, to their former homes. 1 
Dr. Vincent Smith finds in this story proof of the custom of 
the ancient inhabitants of VaiSali of disposing of their dead 
" sometimes by exposure, sometimes by cremation, and 
sometimes by burial." 2 

The Licchavis had various festivals, of which the Sab- 

barattivaro or Sabbaratticaro was the 

most important. At the Sabbarattivaro 

or Sabbaratticaro festival, songs were sung, trumpets, drums 

and other musical instruments were used. 8 When a festival 

took place at VaiSali, all the people used to enjoy it and 

there were dancing, singing and recitation. 4 

It was Sariputta who said regarding the Vajjians that 
they were once good and afterwards took 
to evil ways. In other words, at first 
they were free from desires of senses, 

1 Beal's Romantic Legend of 6akya Buddha, pp. 159-160. 

* Indian Antiquary, Vol. XXXII, p. 234. 

* Samyutta Nikaya, Vol. I, pp. 201-202. 

* Psalms of the Brethren, p. 63. 



ill-will, torpor, stoth, etc., but afterwards they were addicted 
to these evils. Then again they gave up all these vices and 
became good. ' 

l Psalms of the Brethren, p. 348. 


All the information that we can get about the views 
and practices of the Licchavis is derived from Buddhist 
books and, to a smaller extent, from Jaina works. It is 
apparent from what we learn about them from these sources 
that the lyicchavis, a vigorous, manly and heroic race, and 
highly prosperous too, were at the same time of a strongly 
religious and devotional bent of mind. Both Jainism and 
Buddhism found many followers among 
them. Even before the advent of the two 
new forms of religion, the Licchavis, or 
to call them by their wider designation, the Vajjians, appear 
to have been imbued with a strong religious spirit and 
deep devotion. The Vajjis appear to have numerous shrines 
in their town as well as in the country and they worshipped 
the deities at these shrines with proper offerings and with 
the observance of due rites and ceremonies. Even after 
Jainism and Buddhism had obtained a strong hold on 
the Licchavis of Vaisali, the great body of the people 
of the Vajji country as well as of the capital remained 
staunch followers of their ancient faith, the principal 
feature of which was caitya worship, although they had 
due respect for the Jaina or Buddhist sages that wandered 
over their country preaching the message delivered by their 
respective teachers. The Mahaparinibbana Suttanta tells us 
what the Buddha told Vassakara, the prime minister (maha- 
rnatra) of Magadha, when the latter was sent by Ajtaatru 


to learn from the Exalted One what he would predict with 
regard to the king's daring plan of exterminating the Vajjis. 
The Exalted One said : " So long as the Vaj jians honour and 
esteem and revere and support the Vaj jian shrines ' in town, 
or country and allow not the proper offerings and rites, as 
formerly given and performed to fall into desuetude so long 
as the rightful protection, defence and support shall be fully 
provided for the Arahants among them, so that the Arahants 
from a distance may enter the realm, and the Arahants 
therein may live at ease so long may the Vajjians be 
expected not to decline but to prosper." * This was said by 
the Buddha on the eve of his last departure for Vaisali and 
shortly before lie passed away from this world. Towards 
the end of his life, the Licchavis were devoted worshippers 
at the numerous shrines that were scattered about in their 
country. Buddhaghosa in his commentary, the Sumangala- 
vilasinl, also informs us that the Licchavis observed their old 
religious rites. 8 We must here bear in mind the fact that 
Buddhism at the early stage, of which we are speaking, was 
a form of faith for ascetics only, not a religious creed for all 
people. The Buddhists at this period only formed one of the 
numerous ascetic sects of Northern India. Thus there was 
nothing unusual in the fact that many of the Licchavis who 
were householders and had not accepted the life of bhikkhus 

1 The word in the text is Cetiyani.' T. W. Rhys Davids', translation seems to 
be too exclusive for, as Kern points out, the name Cetiya was applied not only to 
shrines but also to sacred trees, memorial stones, holy spots, images, religious in- 
scriptions (Manual of Indian Buddhism, p. 91). 

2 T. W. and C. A. P. Rhys Davids-Dialogues of the Buddha, Pt. II, p. 80. 

3 Sumangala-vilasrai (Burmese edition) pp. 103-105. 


or Buddhist monks, should remain firm followers of their 
former faith. We must not also forget that there are strong 
reasons to suspect, as Kern observes, " that original Bud- 
dhism was not exactly that of the canonical books." 1 The 
Pali Tripitaka represents the version acknowledged by a 
particular sect of the Buddhist, namely, the Vibhajjavadins 
of Ceylon and there can be no doubt that the sacred canon 
was moulded and modified by them when it was finally 
edited, and as it is said, was put down in writing in Ceylon. 
We cannot therefore, expect to find an impartial account 
of the religious tenets of the people of the country where 
the Enlightened One preached his new message. But as the 
Buddhist along with the Jaina books form the only source 
of our information about the religious beliefs of the Liccha- 
vis, we have to take them as the basis of our account of 
their ideas of religion. From the meagre mention of the 
caityas of the Licchavis in the Buddhist books, it is not easy 
to determine what the principal objects of their worship were. 
There is, however, nothing to show that the religious belief 
of the lyicchavis was in any way different from the form of 
faith obtained in other parts of Northern India. The Vedic 
religion was still in full vigour in north-eastern India, as the 
references, though not very numerous, to Vedic sacrifices in 
the Buddhist books show. We should bear in mind that the 
country of the Vaj jis was the sacred land of Videha where the 
great Samrat Janaka had exercised his sway and where 
Yajnavalkya preached the white Yajurveda. 

i Kern, Manual of Indian Buddhism, p. 50. 


We have already referred to the numerous caityas in 
VaiSali and its suburbs as mentioned in 

The Caitya worship , ., *-- ., , 

an important feature the Mahavastu. These caityas are call- 
of the Licchavi faith. ^ Saptamraka ^ the 

Bahuputra, the Gautama, the Kapinahya and the MSrkatah- 
radatira. In the Mahaparinibbana Suttanta, we also get 
the names of these shrines (caityas). The Exalted One 
on his last visit to Vaiall went one day to the Capala caitya 
and said addressing the venerable Ananda : " How delight- 
ful a spot, Ananda, is VaiSali, and how charming the Udena 
Shrine, and the Gotamaka Shrine, and the Shrine of the 
Seven Mangoes (Sattambaka), and the Shrine of many sons, 
and the Sarandada Shrine, and the Capala Shrine. 1 ' The 
Patika Suttanta which like the Mahaparinibbana Suttanta, 
is included in the Digha-Nikaya, indicates the position of 
these caityas. Kandara-masuka, a naked ascetic of VaiSali, 
sought to please the Licchavis by professing a great attach- 
ment to their city ; he says, "So long as I live, I will never 
go beyond the Udena Shrine on the east of VaiSali ; the 
Gotamaka Shrine on the south ; the Sattamba Shrine on the 
west and the Bahuputta Shrine on the north." l From this 
boasting of Kandara-masuka, it is evident that these shrines 
were situated in the outskirts of Vafeall marking its bound- 
aries, as it were. A passage in the Divyavadana also gives 
a list of the caityas in almost the same words as the Maha- 

I Dialogues of the Buddha, part III, p. 14. " Puxatthimena Vesiliyaih Udenaih 
nama cetiyam taib natikkamcy yarii : dakkhipena Vesaliyatb Gotamakaifa nama 
cetiyaih tarii natikkaineyyaih : pacchimena Vesaliyaih sattambadi nama cetiyarii 
taih nitikkameyyam : uttarena Vesaliyaxii Bahuputtaxh nama cetiyaih tarfa natik 
kameyyanti." (Patika Suttanta.) 


parinibbana Suttanta : there also the Enlightened One speaks 
addressing Ananda, of the beauties of the caityas called 
Capala, Saptamraka, Bahupatraka andGautama-nyagrodha.' 
Bahupatraka is evidently the same as Bahuputraka of the 
other texts. Altogether we get the names of eight caityas 
or shrines in and about VaiSall. There can, therefore, be no 
doubt with regard to the existence of these caityas in the 
country of the Licchavis. Buddhaghosa in his commentary 
on the Mahaparinibbana Suttanta explains cetiyani in the 
text as Yakkhacetiyam and about the Sarandada caitya 
where the Buddha preached, he says that " this was a Vihara 
erected on the site of a former shrine of the Yakkha Saran- 
dada." * So that from Buddhaghosa's comments it is but 
reasonable to assume that the Yakkhas were worshipped in 
some of the caityas, but the materials at our command 
do not justify us to assume that the Yakkhas were the only 
deities worshipped at these shrines. The Buddhist books 
show that the Vedic gods, Indra and Prajapati or Brahma * 
were very popular deities in the regions where the Buddha 
preached. The Arthasastra of Kautilya* also speaks of 
many gods popularly worshipped besides the Vedic divinities. 
Some scholars are of opinion that the caityas were "Shrines 
of pre-Buddhistic worship" and that "they were probably 
trees and barrows." 6 Some of the caityas, as their names 

1 Divyavadana, p. 201. 

* Dialogues of the Buddha, part II, p. 80, notes 2 and 3. 

* For Brahtni see S. N. 122 seq ; Samy VI. i, 1-3, 10, etc. M.P.S. VI. 15, 
etc. , etc. 

* Arthasastra of Kautflya, ed. by R. Shama gastri, 2nd edition, p. 244. 

* Prof, and Mrs. Rhys Davids, Dialogues of the Buddha, pt. II, p. no, footnote 2. 


suggest, might have been named after the trees which marked 
the spots, but it would be going too far to imagine merely 
from the name that these shrines consisted of trees and 
nothing else, as some scholars would have us believe. 

Mahavlra, the twenty-fourth Tirthahkara of the Jains, 
as we have seen before, was a citizen of 
8m ' VaiSali. Even before his advent, the 

faith of which he was the last exponent, seems to have been pre- 
valent in Vaisall and the country round, in some earlier form. 
It appears from the Jaina accounts that the religion as fixed 
and established by ParSvanatha, who is revered as the twenty- 
third Tirthankara, was followed by some at least of the 
Kgatriya people of north-eastern India, and especially 
amongst the residents of VaiSali. We read in the Ayaranga 
Sutra, "The venerable Ascetic Mahavira's parents were wor- 
shippers of ParSva and followers of the Sramanas. During 
many years, they were followers of the Sramanas, and for 
the sake of protecting the six classes of lives they observed, 
blamed, repented, confessed, and did penance according 
to their sins. On a bed of Kua-grass they rejected all 
food, and their bodies dried up by the last mortification 
of the flesh, which is to end in death. Thus they died 
in the proper month, and leaving their bodies, were born 
as gods in Adbhuta Kalpa." l Similar accounts are given 
in other Jaina works also of the prevalence in the 

See also Mr. R. P. Cbanda's Mediaeval Sculpture in Eastern India. Cal. Univ. 
Journal (Arts), Vol. III. 

i Jaina Sutras, pt. i, Xkaranga Stitra translated by H. Jacobs'. S.B.E. 
Vol. xxii, p. 194. 


country of a faith which was afterwards developed by 
Mahavlra. The Sramanas or wandering ascetics had been 
in existence ever since the time of the earlier Upanisads 
and evidently the Sramanas that were followed so reverently 
by the parents of MahSvJra, belonged to one of the 
numerous sects or classes amongst which the Indian ascetkfs 
appear to have been divided. After Mahavlra developed 
his doctrines and preached his faith of unbounded charity 
to all living beings in the Vajji land and in Magadha, 
the number of his followers among the Licchavis appears to 
have been large and some men of the highest position in 
Vaisali appear to have been among them as is seen from the 
Buddhist books themselves. In the Mahavagga of the 
Vinaya Pitaka we read that Siha, a general-in-chief of the 
Licchavis, was a disciple of Nigantha Nataputta who has 
been shown by Profs. Biihler and Jacobi to be identical 
with Mahavlra of the Jaina legends. We read here how 
general Siha, 1 a follower of the Nigantfias, gradually felt 
attracted towards the Samana Gotama by listening to the 
discussions among the Licchavis at the Santhagara or the 
Mote-Hall where they used to meet, discuss and settle all 
matters relating to politics or religion. One day "many 
distinguished Licchavis were sitting together assembled in the 
town hall and spoke in many ways in praise of the Buddha, 
of the Dhamma and of the Samgha. At that time, Siha, 
the general-in-chief (of the Licchavis), a disciple of the 
Niganfha sect, was sitting in that assembly. And Siha, the 

Vsnaya Texts translated by T. W. Rhys Davids and H Oldenberp, S.B.E., 
Vol. XVII, p. 10 8. 


general, thought: Truly he, the Blessed One, must be the 
Arahat Buddha, since these many distinguished Licchavis who 
were sitting here together assembled in the town hall, speak 
in so many ways in praise of the Buddha, of the Dhamma 
and of the Samgha. What if I were to go and visit him, 
the Arahat Buddha/' Siha next asked permission to visit 
the Buddha from the Nigantha Nataputta, who, however, 
tried to dissuade him from doing so, pointing out the defects 
in the doctrines preached by the former. " Why should you, 
Siha, who believe in the result of actions (according to their 
moral merit) go to visit the Samana Gotama who denies the 
result of actions? For the Samana Gotama, Siha, denies 
the result of actions ; he teaches the doctrine of non-action ; 
and in this doctrine he trains his disciples," Siha's enthu- 
siasm for the Buddha abated for the time but it was again 
roused by the discussions of the other Licchavis so that he 
at last did pay a visit to the Buddha who gave him a long 
discourse on the Buddhist doctrine. Siha was at last con- 
verted to the Buddhist faith. That the number of the 
followers of Mahavira at VaiSall, however, was very large 
also appears from this story of Siha. This general had in- 
vited Buddha and the Bhikkhus to take their meal at his 
house and procured meat from the market for feeding them. 
But the Jains spread a false report as we read in the Maha- 
vagga: "At that time a great number of Niganthas (running) 
through Vesali, from road to road and from cross-way to 
cross-way, with outstretched arms, cried : To-day Sflia, the 
general, has killed a great ox and has made a meal for the 
Samana Gotama; the Samana Gotama knowingly eats 


this meat of an animal killed for this very purpose and has 
thus become virtually the author of that deed (of killing 
the animal)."' This false report circulated by them only 
made Siha firmer in his zeal for the new faith, but the story 
shows that the number of the Niganthas at Vafeali was 
sufficiently large to defy the influence of such a great man 
as Siha, and the fact that the conversion of Siha took place 
at the time that Buddha paid his last visit to the city, shows 
that though Buddhism had made many converts among the 
followers of the faith preached by Mahavira, yet they were 
still numerous and powerful at the capital of the Licchavis 
even after the numerous sermons preached by the Buddha. 
This is also confirmed by the story of Saccaka, a Nirgrantha, 
who had the hardihood to challenge the Buddha himself 
to a discussion on philosophical tenets before an assemblage 
of five hundred Licchavis.* 

Accounts of the spread of Buddhism among the 
Buddhism Licchavis, gleaned from the various 

works in the Buddhist sacred literature, 
are by no means meagre. The Enlightened One paid at least 
three visits, but probably many more, to the city and from 
the very first he appears to have met with great success 
among them. We have already seen from the Mahavastu 
how great was the veneration with which he was received on 
his first visit to Vafeali. The Pali works have recorded 
many occasions on which the Licchavis sought the aid of the 
Buddha for the solution of numerous problems about religion 

Vinaya Texts, S.B.E., Vol. xvii, p. 116. 

2 The story of Saccaka is given in detail in this chapter, a few pages below. 


and dogma that presented any difficulty to them. These 
questions and answers put to and given by the Buddha, 
though frequently of only a general character and such as 
would naturally arise in the mind of any Buddhist, may yet 
help us to get glimpses of the workings of the Licchavi mind 
with regard to matters of faith, and we think that the bring- 
ing together of all these Licchavi questions to the Master 
will well repay the trouble bestowed upon them. 

Once when the Buddha was staying in the Kutagarasala 
at Mahavana in Vaisali, a Licchavi named 
B ^*&BrtSto? vi Bhaddiya paid a visit to the Buddha and 
told him, ' ' I have heard that the Samana 
Gotama is a magician who knows the magic spells by virtue 
of which he attracts the followers of the faiths. Do people 
speak rightly when they say thus ? " Thereupon the Buddha 
explained to him kusala and akusala Dhamma. The Buddha 
accepted him as his disciple and said, "If I be successful in 
inducing all rich Ksatriyas and Brahmins to give up all 
akusalas and perform kusalas, it will be for their welfare and 
happiness.' 1 Bhaddiya was much delighted with his exposi- 
tions and declared himself a follower of the Buddha. 1 

On another occasion we find that when the Buddha was 
at Vaiall, a Licchavi named Sajho and 
Two L ^3to. and thc another Licchavi named Abhaya approa- 
ched the Buddha. Salho, the Licchavi, 
said to the Buddha, "There are some Samanas and Brah- 
manas who preach the crossing of flood in two ways, namely, 
(i) on account of purity of conduct (sila), (2) on account of 

i Afiguttara Nikaya, P.T.S., Vol. II, pp. 190-194. 


practice of self-mortification (tapa). What does the Exalted 
One say about it?" The Buddha replied, "It is impossible 
for the Samanas and the Brahmanas who are devoted to the 
practice of self-mortification as well as those who are not 
pure in deed, whether in body or in mind or in speech to 
cross the flood/' 1 

A Licchavi minister (mahamatra) Nandaka approached 
the place where the Blessed One was, 

Licchavi minister, 

Nandaka and the saluted him and sat at a little distance. 
The Buddha explained to him the four 
Dhainmas, namely unshakable faith in the Buddha, Dhamma 
and Samgha and possession of silas which are beloved of the 
Ariyas, by which a noble disciple can obtain emancipation. 
Nandaka was told that it was the time to take his bath. 
Nandaka replied, "No use having an external bath, my faith 
in the Blessed One will be my internal bath."' 

We have already recounted how when the Blessed One 
was atMahavana, many young Licchavis 

Veneration of the Li- . ' ;/ 

cchavi youths for the who having taken well arranged bows, 
surrounded by dogs, used to wander 
about in the Mahavana, now sat silent and demure by the 
Buddha, who was seated at the foot of a tree and how 
Mahanama, a lyicchavi of rather advanced age, expressed 
his surprise that these arrogant youths who were rather 
rowdy in their daily life, had become so mild and gentle 
before the Exalted one.* 

' Anguttara Nikaya, P.T.S., Vol. II, pp. 200-202. 

* Samyutta Nikaya, P.T.S., Vol. V, pp. 389-390. 

- Aftguttara Nikaya, P.T.S., Vol. Ill, pp. 75-7. 


On another occasion when the Buddha was at VaiSali, 
there were five hundred Licchavis assembled at the Saranda- 
da cetiya. There was a talk -about the five kinds of rare 
gems, Hatthiratana, Assaratana. Maniratana, Itthiratana 
and Gahapatiratana. The Licchavis placed a man on the 

road with instruction to inform them 
^SSfSS^^' when he would see the Buddha coming. 

He informed the Licchavis about his 
advent. They approached him and requested him to go to the 
Sarandada cetiya. The Licchavis informed the Buddha that 
a discussion had arisen among them about the five kinds of 
rare gems. Buddha said, "The Licchavis who indulge in 
kama or desire speak of such a topic." The Buddha solved 
the problem by speaking of five kinds of precious gems. It 
is difficult to get such persons as realise the Tathagata's 
dhamma. It is difficult to get such persons as strictly 
follow the Tathagata's Dhamma. It is also difficult to find 
a person who is grateful and who is an exponent of grateful- 
ness. The appearance of the Tathagata on earth is rare. 
So also is the preacher of Tathagata's Dhamma. l 

The Aftguttara Nikaya* speaks of a large number of 

distinguished Licchavis, who, when going to see the Buddha 

who was at VaiSali, resounded the Mahavana with a great 

. . tumult of joy to see the Buddha, as they 

Jubilations of the 

Licchavis to see the were greatly devoted to him and had a 


strong faith in him. This noise so 
greatly troubled the Bhikkhus that they were unable to pro- 
ceed with their meditation, and the Buddha remarked, 

1 Afiguttara Nikaya, Vol. Ill, pp. 167-168. P.T.S , Vol. V, p. 133. 


"Noise is the hindrance of meditation." The Anguttara 
Nikaya l narrates how on another occasion, when the Blessed 
One was at Vateali, he was worshipped by five hundred 
Licchavis arrayed in various coloured garments, ornaments, 
and trappings. The Licchavis gave Pingiyani five hundred 
upper garments, after listening to a gatha in praise of the 
Buddha sung by him. Pingiyani offered the Buddha all those 
garments. Then the Buddha spoke of the five rare gems 
before the Licchavis. 

Anjana-Vaniya was born at Vaiall in the family of a 

raja of the Vajjians. During his adolescence, the three-fold 

panic of drought, sickness and non-human 


foes affected the Vaj jian territory. After- 
wards the Exalted One put a stop to the panic and addressed 
a great concourse. Hearing his discourse, the prince won 
faith and left the world. After passing through the prelimi- 
nary training, he settled in the Anjana wood at Saketa. When 
the rains drew near, he got a castaway couch and placing it 
on four stones and covering it with grass, he made a shelter 
for the rainy season. There he engaged himself in a strenuous 
study for one month. Then he won Arhatship.* 

Vajjiputta or the son of the Vajjis was the son of a 
Licchavi raja at Vafeali. He went to the 
v ihara to attain salvation when the 
Master was preaching. Hearing him he entered the order and 
in due course acquired six-fold Abhinna. 8 

l P.T.S., Vol. Ill, p. 239. * Psalms of the Brethren, r 5& 

8 Psalms of the Brethren, p. 106. 


Siha, a daughter of the sister of the Licchavi general 
Siha was born at VaiSall at the time of 


Gotama Buddha. She was called Siha, 
after her maternal uncle, Siha. When she attained years 
of discretion, one day she heard the Master teaching 
the Norm. She became a believer and obtained the 
consent of her parents to enter the order. When she was 
attempting to gain insight, she was unable to prevent her 
mind from running on objects of external charm. Thus 
harassed for seven years, she at last made up her mind 
to put an end to her life. Taking a noose, she hung it 
round the bough of a tree and having it tied round her 
neck, she made her mind bend upon insight. At last she 
won Arhatship with a thorough grasp of "the Norm in 
form and in meaning/" 

Jenti or Jenta was born in a princely family of the 

Licchavis at Vaisall. She won Arhatship 

a fter hearing the Dhamma preached by 

the Buddha. She developed the seven sambojjhangas. 2 

Vasitthi was reborn in a clansman's family at VaiSall. 

Her parents gave her in marriage to a 

clansman's son of equal position. She 

had a son. When the child was able to run about, he 

died. She being worn and overwhelmed with grief, came 

to Mithila. There she saw the Exalted One, self-controlled 

and self-contained. At the sight of the Buddha she got 

back her normal mind from the frenzy that had caught hold 

1 Psalms of the Sisters by Mrs. Rhys Davids, pp. 53-54. 

2 Psalms of the Sisters, pp. 23-24. 


of her. The Master taught her the outlines of the Norm. 
Performing all proper duties, she acquired insight and 
struggling with the help of full knowledge, she soon attained 
Arhatship together with a thorough grasp of the Norm in 
form and in spirit. 1 

Ambapali was born at Vassal! in the king's gardens at 

the foot of a mango tree. She was 
m apa i. brought by the gardener to the city. She 

was known as the mango-guardian's girl. She was so very 
beautiful that many young princes wanted to have her. 
She was made a courtezan. I v ater on, out of reverence for 
the Master, she built a vihara in her own gardens and gave 
it over to him and the Order. When she heard her own son 
preaching the 'Norm/ she tried to acquire insight. 4 The 
evanescence of her own body was noticed by her and she 
saw transitoriness in every phenomenon of the universe. 
At last she attained Arhatship. 8 

From what has been given above about the religious 
beliefs of the Licchavis, it must have become sufficiently 
clear that many of them were of a religious turn of mind. 

The people of Vaisali were philosophical 
t P i 8 of P JhfLkStavi a 8 : speculators and very often dealt with 

questions relating to the means of attain- 
ing Nirvana,* dosa, lobha, moha, alobha, adosa, amoha/ 
samadhi, saiina, vedana, samkhara and the influence of the 
purity of slla, tapa, etc. 6 

' Psalins of the Sisters, pp. 79-80. * Ibid, pp. !2O-i2i. 

* Ibid, p. 125. * AAguttara Nikaya, pt. I, pp. 220-222. 

Ibid, pt. II, pp. I90-JJ4. " Ibid ' Pt- I 



The independent spirit of the Licchavis or Vajjians 
was manifested notably in the great schism brought about 
by the bhikkhus of their clan in the life of the Buddhist 
Order. Their national spirit was also displayed in bringing 
about a momentous change within the Buddhist doctrine. 
A school of Buddhist thought known as the Vajjiputtakas 
is said to have formulated a theory of personality (Puggala- 
vada) which was unacceptable to the orthodox interpreters 
of Buddhism. 

That the Licchavis used to take interest in philosophical 
and metaphysical discussions is evident from the following 
incident recorded in the Majjhima Nikaya. The Nigantha- 
putta Saccaka approached the place 
S SSd to Ltech$ a> where the Licchavis were and said to 
them, "Let the Licchavis come out to- 
day; I shall hold a conversation with Samana Gotama. If 
the Samana Gotama places me in the same position in which 
I am placed by the monk Assajl who is a Savaka, I shall 
defeat Samana Gotama by my argument like a strong man 
catching hold of a goat by its long hair and moving it in 
any way he likes/ 1 Saccaka mentioned various ways in which 
he was going to treat Samana Gotama, if Samana Gotama 
would be defeated. Some Licchavis enquired how Gotama 
would meet the argument of Saccaka, the Niganthaputta, 
and vice versa, while others enquired how Niganthaputta 
Saccaka would meet the arguments of Samana Gotama and 
vice versa. Saccaka induced five hundred Licchavis to go 
with him to the Mahavana to listen to his discussion with 
Gotama. He approached the place where the Bhikkhus 


were walking up and down and asked them, "We are anxious 
to see Gotama, the Blessed One/ 1 The Buddha was seated 
to spend the day in meditation at the foot of a tree in the 
Mahavana forest. Niganthaputta Saccaka with a large 
number of Licchavis went to the Blessed One and having 
exchanged friendly greetings wich him, sat at a little distance. 
Some Licchavis saluting him took their seats ; others exchang- 
ed friendly greetings with him and then took their seats; 
some saluting with folded hands, sat at ;. little distance, 
some prominent Licchavis giving out their names and family 
names, took their seats at a little distance. Some remained 
silent and sat at a little distance with great devotion to the 
Blessed One. Then arguments relating to the samghas 
and ganas, some knotty points of Buddhist psychology and 
metaphysics e.g., the nature of rupa (form), vedana (sensa- 
tion), saniia (perception), sariikhara (confections) and virinana 
(consciousness), were started between Niganthaputta Saccaka 
and the Blessed One. Saccaka being defeated, invited the 
Blessed One who accepted the invitation. The Licchavis 
were informed of this and asked to bring whatever they 
liked at the dinner which would be held on the following 
day. At the break of day, the Licchavis brought five 
hundred dishes for the Buddha. ' The Niganthaputta and 
the Licchavis became greatly devoted to the Blessed One. 

In the Samyutta Nikaya, 2 we read of 

Mah ?h; a B "dS land Mahali > a Wcchavi, who went to the 

Buddha and told him that Purana Kas- 

' Cujasaccaka Suttaih, Majjhiina Nikaya, Vol. I, pp. 227-237. 
pt III, pp. 68-70. 


sapa was of opinion that there was no cause of the sin of 
beings and without cause they suffered and there was no 
cause of the purity of beings and without cause they 
were purified. Buddha refuted this theory of Parana Kassapa 
by raising the subtle philosophical discussion about the 
five khandhas and afterwards the Buddha succeeded in 
making the Licchavi understand that what Purana Kassapa 
had taught him, did not hold good ; it fell to the ground. 
The Anguttara Nikaya ' also speaks of a Licchavi named 
Mahali who said to the Buddha, " What 

Buddh me"! n and is the cause of sinful act " ? The Blessed 
One answered, ( ' The causes of sinful act 
are avarice, hatred, delusion, absence of reasoning and 
cherishing wrong views in mind." Mahali further asked the 
Buddha, " What is the cause of virtuous act " ? - The Buddha 
answered, " Absence of avarice, hatred, delusion, reasoning 
and not cherishing wrong views in mind these are the 
causes of a virtuous act. " 

When Ananda was at VaiSali, Abhaya, a Licchavi and 

another Licchavi named Panditakumara went to Ananda. 

Abhaya said to Ananda, "Nigantha 

Abhaya, a Licchavi. - , . - , . Y 

Nathaputta is all-knowing, all-seeing, 
and knows the light of knowledge, (i.e. has insight into 
knowledge) ; he teaches the destruction of previous actions by 
austerities and says that by non-action the cause of fresh 
kamma is destroyed. From the destruction of action there is 
the cessation of suffering ; from the cessation of suffering, we 
have the destruction of sensation and from the destruction 

' Vol. V. pp. 86-87. 


of sensation suffering will be no longer on earth . There is an 
overcoming of suffering by purity in the present existence." 
Thereupon Ananda said that the three kinds of purity 
which were not subject to decay had been expounded by 
the Buddha. These three kinds of purity were the means 
of going beyond grief and lamentation, of disappearance of 
sorrow, of the attainment of knowledge and of the realisation 
of Nirvana. ' 

The Samyutta Nikaya* relates that when Sariputta 
dwelt at Ukkacela among the Vajjians, a 
monk named Samandaka went to the 
place where Sariputta was and asked 
him, " What is Nirvana ?" " It means ragakkhaya, dosak- 
khaya and mohakkhaya ; there is a path for the realisation of 
Nirvana. " "What is that path ?" "It is the sublime 
eightfold path e.g. right speech, right action, etc. " 

The Samyutta Nikaya further relates that when the 
Blessed One was at Ukkacela in the Vajji country with a 
large congregation of monks, he was told that owing to the 
passing away of Sariputta and Moggallana, the congregation 
seemed to be empty. Buddha said, " You depend on yourself 
and not on others. Meditate on four satipatthanas. Tatha- 
gata has no grief or lamentation for the passing away of such 
great disciples because what is born for some cause is subject 
to decay." ' 

The influence that the teachings of the Exalted One 
exercised even upon the fierce Licchavis, is unique. Of the 

* Aftguttara Nikaya. Vol. I, (P.T.S.). pp. 220221. 

Sadiyutta Nikaya, Vol. IV, (P.T.S.) pp. 261-262. ' Vol. V. pp. 163-165. 


many stories showing how noble and inspiring were the 
Blessed One's teachings, we give below one indicating how 
they cured a wicked prince of the ferocity of his spirit and 
temper. It has been said of a wicked Licchavi prince 1 
that he was so very fierce, cruel, passionate and vindictive 
that none could dare utter more than two or three words 
in his presence, even his parents, rela- 
A wic ^ice? chavfe tions and friends, could not make him 
better. So at last his parents resolved to 
bring him to the All -wise Buddha for his rectification. 
Accordingly he was brought before the Buddha who addressed 
and said to him thus, " Prince ! a man should not be cruel, 
passionate and ferocious because such a man is harsh 
and unkind to his father, mother, brother, sister, children, 
friends, relatives and to all and thus he is looked upon 
with terror and hatred by all. He will be reborn in hell 
or other place of punishment after this life; and however 
adorned he may be in this life, he looks ugly; although 
his face is beautiful like the orb of the full moon, yet it is 
loathsome like a scorched lotus or disc of gold overworn 
with filth. The violence of his rage impels him to com- 
mit suicide and thus meeting his death by reason of 
his own rage he is reborn into torment. So also those 
persons who injure others are not only hated in this life 
but will after their death, pass to hell and punishment, 
and when they are again born as men they are destined to 
be beset with disease and sickness of eye and ear. So let all 

i Bkapanna Jataka (Cowell's edition), Vol. I, p. 16. 


men show kindness and also do good to others and thereby 
they will avoid hell and punishment." The magic power of 
this wholesome and edifying lecture had the. beneficial effect 
of removing the arrogance and selfishness of the prince from 
the core of his heart, which became afterwards full of love 
and kindness. 

Now the influence of the Buddha's teachings which 
changed the mood of the wicked prince was observed by the 
brethren who talked together as to how a single lecture could 
tame the fierce spirit of the prince while the ceaseless exhorta- 
tions of his parents were of no avail. They also remarked 
thus, "as an elephant- tamer or a horse-tamer makes the 
animal go to the right or left so the Blessed One the All-wise 
Buddha, guides the man whithersoever he wills, along any 
of the eight directions and makes his pupil discern shapes 
external to himself. The Blessed One is hailed as chief of 
the trainers of men, supreme in bowing men to the yoke of 
truth. There is no trainer of men like unto the supreme 
Buddha." The people of Vateall were so devoted to the 
Buddha that they made a cairn at VaiSali over the remains 
of the Buddha and celebrated a feast. 1 

Mr. Beal in his Romantic Legend of Sakya Buddha 8 
says that the people of VaiSall owing to 

Seal's opinion re- .. .., * ^ * 

ftarding the inhabitants their imperfect knowledge of the laws of 

attfih ' self-discipline and mortification, could 

not use true discernment in their religious life and search 

after deliverance. There was an old king named Drama, for 

Mahaparinlbbana Suttanta, Buddhist Suttas (S.B.E.), Vol. XI, p. 134. 
' pp. 167-168. 


example, in the city of VaiSall, who retired into solitude, 
but afterwards forsaking his hermit-cell, came back to his 
kingdom. But we cannot agree with Mr. Beal. It is 
evident from the Psalms of the Brethren and Sisters that 
many people of Vafeali, both male and female, though they 
had fallen off from virtue at first, were, later on, greatly 
influenced by the preaching of the Norm and became self- 
controlled and self-disciplined. They advanced so far as to 
attain Arhatship which they could not have gained if they 
had failed to use true discernment in their religious life and 
search after deliverance. 

A hundred years after the passing away of the Buddha, 
certain Yajjiputtaka bhikkhus, the residents of Vaisali, 
began to indulge in practices prejudicial to the interests of 
Buddhism. They proclaimed ten indulgences as permissible, 
namely : " (i) storing of salt ; l (2) the taking of the midday 
meal when the sun's shadow shows two finger-breadths 
after noon; (3) the going to some village 
( r to another village) and there eating 
fresh food; (4) residing (in the same 
parish and yet holding the Uposatha separately) ; (5) sanction 
(of a solemn act" in an incomplete chapter) ; (6) the ;uncondi- 
tional) following of a precedent; (7) the partaking of un- 
churned milk; (8) of unfermented toddy; (9) the use of a 
mat without fringes (not conform with the model prescribed) ; 
(10) to accept gold and silver/' 2 The Vajjiputtaka Bhikkhus 

i Note Priests can keep salt only for seven days. But if kept in born, they 
would be able to retain it for any length of time J.A.S.B., Vol. VI, pt. II, p. 728 
(i*37). * Kern's Manual of Buddhism, p. 103. 


of Vaigali on the Uposatha day in question, filling a golden 
basin with water, and placing it in the midst of the assem- 
bled priests, thus appealed to the devotees of Vaisali, who 
attended there : " Beloved ones ! bestow on the priesthood 
either a kahapana or half, or a quarter of one, or even the 
value of a masa to the priesthood, it will afford the means of 
providing themselves with sacerdotal requisites." In order 
to suppress the heresies among them, the Buddhist Elders 
convened a council at Vaisali known as the ' Sattasatika ' or 
the convocation of the Seven Hundred. At this meeting 
bhikkhus assembled, brought together by the exertions of the 

venerable Yaso. In the course of discus- 
Judgment of sup- . . , . , 
pression finally pro- sions, the interrogation of the venerable 

nounced. Revata, and the exposition of the Vinaya 

by the Thera Sabbakami, the ten indulgences being thorough- 
ly inquired into, a judgment of suppression was finally 
pronounced. 1 

' Examination of the Pali Buddhistical Aimal.s Vol. VI. pt II, p. 720, J- * - 
183; (September). 


The Licchavis formed a great and powerful republic 
in the sense that there was no hereditary monarch, the power 
of the state being vested in the assembly 
of citizens. It does not appear to have 
been a full-fledged democratic republic 
but an oligarchy in the sense that citizenship was confined to 
the members of the confederate clans. This form of govern- 
ment as described in the Buddhist books was not rare in 
ancient India ; there is ample evidence to show that in* 
ancient times, this form was much more in vogue than we 
are led to imagine from later literature. It is certainly a 
very remarkable phenomenon that while to the south of the 
Ganges, in Magadha, an empire was being built up first under 
the Si&magas, next under the Nandas and later still under 
the Mauryas, to the north of the same river, the Licchavis 
formed a powerful corporation resisting for long the aggres- 
sive attempts of the Magadhan kings. 

The Licchavis formed what is called in ancient Indian 

literature, a Samgha. or Gana, that is, 

The Li^hay^ samftha an organised corporation. One of the 

Buddhist canonical books, the Majjhima 

Nikaya, 1 speaks of the Vajjis and the Mallas as forming 

samghas and ganas, that is, clans governed by an organised 

corporation and not by an individual sovereign, the power of 

i P.TS., Vol. I, p. 231. 


the state being vested in the corporation. The Mahavastu ' 
says that when plague raged in their city, one of them, 
Tomara, was elected by the Gana to represent their difficulties 
before the Buddha and bring him over to their city. 

Kautilya, the great minister of the first Maurya Emperor, 
has also indicated in his ArthaSastra, the 

real nature of the Wcchavi form of 
government. He speaks of the Licchavis 
in the chapter on the conduct of corporations. * He says that 
the samghas or corporations of the peoples like the Licchavis, 
the Vrjis, the Mallas, the Madras, the Kukuras, the 
Kurus, the Pancalas and others were rajasabdopajivinah. * 
This apparently means that among these peoples, each 
citizen had the right to call himself a raja i.e., dignitary who 
did not owe allegiance or pay revenue to any one else; 
but each of whom held up his head high and, not merely 
looked upon himself as a raja, but considered that the word 
raja was his usual designation recognised not only by his 
fellow clansmen but also by the other peoples of India. 
This is corroborated by the description given of the Licchavis 
in the Lalita Vistara, which, though a late work, preserves 
the right tradition when it says that at Vafeali, there was no 
respect for age, nor for position, whether high or middle 
or low, each one there thought that he was a raja.* 

i Vol. I, p. 254- 

Arthasastra translated by R. Shamasastry, p. 455. 

& Dr. Shamaaasferl's rendering "lived by the title of a ra ju " is rather too literal 
to convey the real meaning. 

* Bkaika eva manyate aharti raja, aharh rajeti.' Ed. by Lefrnann, Vol. 1, p. ai ; 
Lalita Vistara (Bibliotheca Indica series) Chap. Ill 23. 


Kau^ilya's account shows that this designation of each 
individual clansman was not confined to the I/icchavis alone 
but was shared by them along with many other warrior 
peoples of northern India from the land of the Madras on the 
north-western frontier up to the Vrji land in the east; 
we happen to possess independent corroboration of this 
statement of Kautilya's in the Buddhist literature with 
regard to the Licchavis. The same state of things must 
have been in existence among the other tribes mentioned by 
Kautilya. Savaraswami in his commentary on the Purvami- 
marhsa Sfttra, Book II, says that the word 'raja' is a 
synonym for Ksatriya, and he supports his statement by the 
fact that even in his time, the word was used by the 
Andhras to designate a Ksatriya. From the authority 
of Savaraswami it can be said that the word 'raja' in early 
times designated a Ksatriya and subsequently came to 
mean a king. 

In practice the rank of ' raja ' must have been restricted 
to a comparatively small section of the community because 
we learn from the Ekapanna Jataka that besides the rajas, 
there were the uparajas, senapatis, etc. What the real number 
of the de facto rajas was, we do not know. Tradition gives 
various numbers of a widely divergent character. The Maha- 
vastu l speaks of the twice eighty-four thousand Licchavi 
rajas residing within the city of Vateali. The Pali com- 
mentaries, as for example, the preambles to the Cullakalinga 
Jataka 8 and the Ekapanna Jataka 8 speak of seven thousand 

' Vol. i. p. 271. a Pausboll, Jataka, Vol. Ill, p. i. 

* Pausboll, Ibid, Vol. I. p. 504. 


seven hundred and seven rajas of Vaisali. The Kalpa Sutra 
speaks of only nine. (Jaina Sutras, pt. L, S.B.E., Vol. XXII., 
p. 266.) 

Kautilya 1 observes that all these samghas by virtue of 
their being united in such corporations, were unconquerable 
by others. He further observes that for a king, the winning 
over to his side of such a corporate body was the acquisition 
of a best friend, that of all his allies, a corporation was the 
best and most helpful because of the power derived from their 
union which made them invincible. 2 Buddhist books inform 
us that the Licchavis were so strong as to defy the aggres- 
sion of their country by any foreign power on account of 
their unity and concord and their practice of constantly 
meeting in their popular assemblies, and 

Unlt cchlv?s e U ~ that this made them almost invincible. 
When Ajatasatru sent his prime minister 
(mahamatra) to ascertain the views of the Buddha with 
regard to his proposed extermination of the Vrjis, the Bless- 
ed One said addressing Ananda, " Have you heard, Ananda, 
that the Vajjians hold full and frequent public assemblies ?" 
"Ivord, so I have heard/' replied he, "so long, Ananda," 
rejoined the Blessed One, "as the Vajjians hold these full 
and frequent public assemblies ; so long may they be expect- 
ed not to decline but to prosper. "* And in like manner 
questioning Ananda and receiving reply, the Exalted One 
declared the other conditions which would ensure the welfare 

1 Samghubhisamhatatvat dhrigyan paresaui ArLlia^astrp (2111! fc,d.),p. 378. 
-* Saihgha liibho daiida mitralabhan.-.muttainah-- Jbid, p 37*;. 
Buddhist Suttas, S.B.E., Vol. XI, p. 3. 


of the Vajjian confederacy: "So long, Ananda, as the 
Vajjians meet together in concord and rise in concord and 
carry out their undertakings in concord so long as they 
enact nothing not already established, abrogate nothing that 
has been already enacted, and act in accordance with the 
ancient institutions of the Vajjians as established in former 
days so long as they honour and esteem and revere and 
support the Vajjian elders and hold it a point of duty to 
hearken to their words so long may the Vajjians be expect- 
ed not to decline but to prosper." 1 

From the above statements about the Vajjians of whom 
the Irficchavis were the most important clan, we come to 
learn that they were governed by an assembly where the 
people of their clan met for discussion about all matters and 
we see further that these meetings were held often and fre- 
quently. The public hall where they used to hold these 
. . ^ meetings was called the Santhagara and 

Santhagara public 

hail Procedure of the there they discussed both religion and 
mm ly. politics. We have seen in the story of 

the conversion of Siha that the Licchavis met at the Santha- 
gara to discuss the teaching of the Buddha. The procedure 
that was followed in these assemblies in arriving at a decision 
on any particular matter brought before the council of the 
Licchavi samgha, maybe gathered, as Professor D. R. Bhan- 
darkar* has pointed out, from an account of the procedure 
followed at a ceremony of ordination at the samgha of the 
Buddhist Bhikkhus. There can be no doubt, that in organ- 

i Buddhist Suttas, S.R.B., Vol. XI, pp. 3-4. 
* Carmichael Lectures. 1918, p. 181. 


ising the Buddhist samgha, the Buddha had, as his model, 
the political saihghas of north-eastern India, especially that 
of the lyicchavis whose corporation, as we have seen above, 
from the discourse of the Buddha with Vassakara, the Maga- 
dhan minister he esteemed very highly. And we further 
observe from the Mahaparinibbana Suttanta ' that just 
after speaking of the great merits of the Licchavi institutions, 
the Exalted One called together in the vService-Hall at Raja- 
grha all the members of the Buddhist congregation in the 
neighbourhood of that city and impressed on them the 
virtues that he had extolled in the Licchavis, as being indis- 
pensable for the welfare of every organised community. 
Fortunately for us, the rules of procedure followed in the 
Buddhist community or samgha have been preserved in the 
description of the upasampada or ordination ceremony in tlic 
Patimokkha section of the Vinaya Pitaka, and from it, we 
can form an idea of the procedure followed in the political 
samgha of the Licchavis. First of all, it appears, was elected 
an officer called the Asana pannapaka or regulator of seats 
whose function seems to have been to seat the members of 
the congregation in the order of their seniority. l As in the 
Buddhist congregation, so among the Licchavis, the elders 
of the clans were highly respected as we see from the Maha- 
parinibbana Suttanta of the Dlgha Nikaya.* 

We next come to the form of moving a resolution in the 
council thus assembled and seated by the Asana-pannZpaka. 

l Buddhist Suttas, pp. 5-11. (S.B.E., Vol. XI.) 
Vinaya Texts, S.B.E., Vol. XX p. 408, f. a. 
A Buddhist Suttas, S.B.E., Vol. XI, p, 3- 


" The mover first announces to the assembled Bhikkhus what 
resolution he is going to propose : this announcement is called 
Ratti. After the Ratti, follows the question put to the 
Bhikkhus present if they approve the resolution. This 
question is put either once or three times ; in the first case, 
we have a Sattidutiya Kamma ; in the second case, a Ftatti- 
catuttha Kamma." l This last process in which the question is 
put three times after the Ratti or Jnapii is illustrated by 
the process prescribed by the Buddha for the upasarhpada 
ordination given in the Mahavagga. " I prescribe, O Bhik- 
khus, that you confer the upasarhpada ordination by a formal 
act of the Order in which the announcement (natti) is fol- 
lowed by three questions," 

* And you ought, O Bhikkhus, to confer the upasarhpada 
ordination in this way : Let a learned, competent Bhikkhu 
proclaim the following natti before the Saihgha : 

f Let the Sarhgha, reverend sirs, hear me. This person 
N. X. desires to receive the upasarhpada ordination from the 
venerable N. N. (i.e. with the venerable N. N., as his Upa- 
jjhaya or Upadhyaya). If the Sarhgha is ready, let the 
Sarhgha confer on N. N., the upasarhpada ordination with 
N. N. as Upajjhaya. This is the natti. 

1 Let the Samgha, reverend sirs, hear me. This person 
N. N., desires to receive the upasarhpada ordination from the 
venerable N. N. The Samgha confers on N, N. the upa- 
sarhpada ordination with N. N. as Upajjhaya. Let any 
one of the venerable brethren who is in favour of the upa- 

' Rhy.s J)avi(is and Oidenbejg Vinaya Texts, pi. 1. p. 169, Note 2. 


sampada ordination of N. N. with N. N. as Upajjhaya, be 
silent, and any one who is not in favour of it, speak. 

' And for the second time I thus speak to you : Let the 
Samgha (etc., as before). 

' And for the third time, I thus speak to you : Let the 
Samgha etc. 

'N. N. has received the upasathpada ordination from 
the samgha with N. N. as Upajjhaya. The Samgha is in 
favour of it, therefore it is silent. Thus I understand/ "' 

As might be expected in such an assembly, there were 

often violent disputes and quarrels with 

Dispme^settied by rega rd to controversial topics. In such 

cases, the disputes were settled by the 

votes of the majority and this voting was by ballot; voting 

tickets or salakas were served out to the voters and an 

officer of approved honesty and impartiality was elected to 

collect these tickets or voting papers. This is evidenced by 

the Cullavagga which recounts it thus : " Now at that time 

the Bhikkhus in chapter (Samgha) assembled, since they 

became violent, quarrelsome and disputatious, and kept on 

wounding one another with sharp words, were unable to 

settle the disputed question (that was brought before them). 

They told this matter to the Blessed One." 

" I allow you, O Bhikkhus, to settle such a dispute by 
the vote of the majority. A Bhikkhu who shall be possessed 
of five qualifications, shall be appointed as taker of voting 
ticket one who does not walk in partiality, one who does 

i Rhys Davids and Oldenberg Vinaya Texts, pt. I, pp. i6;-i7o. 

See also Dr. R. C. Majumdar, Corporate life in Ancient India, pp. 292-295- 


not walk in malice, one who does not walk in folly, one who 
does not walk in fear, one who knows what (votes) have been 
taken and what have not been taken." 1 The appointment 
of this officer who was called the Salaka-gahapaka was also 
made by the whole assembly. 

There was also a provision for taking votes of the 
members who could not for any reason 
te be present at a meeting of the assembly. 
The Mahavagga mentions an example. 
On an occasion when the Buddha asked all the Bhikkhus to 
assemble in the samgha, "a certain Bhikkhu said to the 
Blessed One: 'There is a sick Bhikkhu, Lord, who is not 
present.' I prescribe, O Bhikkhus, that a sick Bhikkhu is 
to declare (lit. to give) his consent (to the act to be per- 
formed) etc." 1 This declaration of consent of an absent 
member to an official act was called Chanda. 

A quorum was required and difficulty was often ex- 
perienced in getting the right number, 
Oo0rum ' so that the Buddha exhorted the Bhik- 

khus to help to complete the quorum. 8 There are other 
detailed rules in the Vinaya Pitaka for the regulation of the 
assembly. This elaboration and perfection of the procedure 
as well as the use of so many technical names to designate 
each particular detail shows that the organisation of these 
popular assemblies had already been developed and elabora- 
ted among the political samghas like that of the Licchavis 

i Cullavagga, S.B.E., Vol. XX, Vinaya texts, pt. Ill, p. 25. 
* Mahavagga, S.B.B., Vol. XIII, p. 277. 
a Ibid, pp. 307-309. 


and that the Buddha only adopted them for the regulation 
of his religious samgha or congregation. 1 

The Tibetan works mention a Nayaka who was the chief 
magistrate of the lyicchavis and "was 
electe( i by the people or rather by the 
ruling clans of Licchavis." * We do not 
know exactly what his functions were ; perhaps he was an 
executive officer for carrying out the decisions of the 

There does not appear to have been any outstanding 
figure of the position of Suddhodana 
among the Sakyas. The preamble to the 
Ekapanna Jataka* relates that, of the rajas who lived in 
VaiSali permanently exercising the rights of sovereignty, 
there were seven thousand, seven hundred and seven and 
there were quite as many Uparajas or subordinate officials, 
quite as many Senapatis or generals and quite as many 
Bhandagarikas or treasurers. A passage in the preamble to 
the Cullakalinga Jataka* also says, "of the Licchavi Rajas, 
seven thousand, seven hundred and seven Licchavis had 
their abodes at VaiSali. All of them were given to argu- 
ments and disputations/ ' The number, seven thousand, 

i For the democratic organisation of the Licchavis, see Prof. D. R. Bhandarkar's 
Carmichael lectures, 1918, pp. 179-184. 

* Rockhill, Life of the Buddha, p. 62. 

Fausboll, Jataka Vol. J, p. 504" Niccakalam rajjaifa karetva vasantanain yeva 
rajunadi sattasahassani satta ca rajano honti, tattaka yeva nparajano. tattaka 
senapatino, tattaka bhangagarika." 

* Ibid, Vol. Ill, p. i. " . . Licchavirajunarfi sattasahassani sattasatani satta ca 
Licchavi vauthsu. Te sabbe pi patipucchavitakka ahesurii." 


seven hundred and seven cannot be the number of all the 
Licchavis living in the town of VaiSali; it would be too small 
a number for a great people that commanded respect for 
many centuries for their prowess and power and also it is 
too small a number for a people that filled almost the whole 
of such a large city as Vaisali ; in fact, we are told by the 
Mahavastu that the Licchavis who went out of their capital, 
VaiSali, to meet the Buddha on his first visit to their city, 
numbered so many as twice eighty-four thousand which 
was not an incredible number for such an extensive city as 
VaiSali. We, however, do not insist upon seven thousand, 
seven hundred and seven representing the exact number of 
members of the ruling assembly ; it is evidently an artificially 
concocted number seven being used from the idea that it 
has some magic potency; seven thousand, seven hundred 
and seven means simply a large number. It is significant 
that none of the canonical texts themselves give this number, 
which occurs only in a later commentary, the Nidanakatha 
of the Jatakas. 

Professor Bhandarkar says that an Uparaja or viceroy, 

a Senapati or general and a Bhandaga- 
: * nd rika or treasurer formed the private' staff 

of every Licchavi raja. If stress is laid 
upon the fact that all these officers were equal in number 
with the rajas, it would mean that each of them had a per- 
sonal staff of these three officers who helped him in discharg- 
ing his duties to the state. Professor Bhandarkar adds that 
each raja had a personal property of his own which was 
managed by himself with the help of the three officers men- 


tioned above. This seems to be likely because the existence 
of a Bhandagarika attached to each raja necessarily implies 
that each raja had his own separate Bhandagara or treasury. 
There must have been officers who recorded the decisions 
of the council. A passage in the Maha Govinda Suttanta 
of the Digha Nikaya seems to justify this 
*ton8 d o s f 2c?ounc e !" conclusion. In describing a meeting of 
the thirty-three gods in the Tavatimsa 
heaven, it is said that after the deliberations were over, four 
great kings recorded the conclusions arrived at. We read 
in the Suttanta, " Then the three-and-thirty gods having 
thus deliberated and taken counsel together concerning the 
matter for which they were assembled and seated in the 
Hall of Good Counsel, with respect to that matter the 
Four Kings were receivers of the spoken word, the Four 
Great Kings were receivers of the admonition given, remain- 
ing the while in their places not retiring." ' On this passage 
the translators observe, "This sounds very much as if 
the Four Great Kings were looked upon as Recorders (in their 
memory, of course) of what had been said. They kept the 
minutes of the meeting. If so (the gods being made in the 
image of men) there must have been such Recorders at 
the meetings in the Mote-Halls of the clans." * This remark 
is quite justified and without such officers to record the 
proceedings of such a vast assembly as that of the I/icchavis, 
any practical work would have been impossible. 

A passage in the preamble to the Bhaddasala Jataka 

1 Dialogues of the Buddha, pt. II, p. 263. 
* Ibid, p. 263, f. n. i. 

mentions a tank, the water of which was used at the ceremony 

Coronation ceremony. f abhi ^ ka or Coronation of the kulaS or 

families of the gana rajas of VaiSali. ! This 
coronation may refer to the ceremony performed when a 
Ucchavi raja was elected to a seat in the assembly of the 
state, or it may denote that the ceremony of coronation 
was performed when a young Licchavi kumara or prince 
as he was called, succeeded to the title and position of his 

The Atthakatha or commentary of Buddhaghosa on the 
Mahaparinibbana Suttanta, gives an account of the judicial 
procedure. When a person was presented before the Vajjian 
rajas as having committed an offence, 
Adn S^ they without taking him to be a male- 

factor, surrendered him to the Viniccaya- 
Mahamfflas or Vini&caya-Mahamatras, that is, officers whose 
business it was to make enquiries and examine the 
accused with a view to ascertain whether he was guilty 
or innocent. If they found that the man was not a culprit, 
they released him but if, on the other hand, they considered 
him guilty, then instead of proceeding to inflict punishment 
upon him, they made him over to the Voharikas or Vyavahari- 
kas, that is, persons learned in law and custom. They 
could discharge him if they found him innocent ; if they held 
him guilty, then they transferred him to certain officers 
called Swttadharas, that is, officials who kept up the satra or 

i " Vesallnagare gaparajakulanaifa abbisekamafigalapokkbaraviih, etc. " Faiis- 
boH,Jataka,Vol.IV,p. 148. 

See also Prof. D. R. Bbandarkar's Carmicbael Lectures. 1918, pp. 150 151. 


the thread of law and custom existing from the ancient 
times. They in their turn made further investigation and if 
satisfied that the accused was innocent, they discharged 
him. If, however, he was considered guilty by them, then he 
was made over to the Atthakulaka l (lit. "the eight castes or 
tribes") which was evidently a judicial institution composed 
of judges representing eight ktilas or tribes. 

The Atthakulaka, if satisfied of the guilt of the offender, 
made him over to the Senapati or commander of the army 
who made him over to the Vparaja or sub-king, and the latter 
in his turn, handed him over to the Raja. The 725/5 released 
the accused if he was innocent ; if he was found guilty, the 
Raja referred to the Pavenipotthaka, that is, the pustaka or 
book recording the law and precedents. This book pres- 
cribed the punishment for each particular offence. The 
Raja, 1 having measured the culprit's offence by means of 
that standard, used to inflict a proper sentence. 3 

' Hou'ble G. Tumour says that no satisfactory explanation can be obtained aa to 
the nature of the office held by these functionaries. It is inferred to be a judicial 
institution composed of judges from all the eight castes. (An examination of the 
Pali Buddhistical Annals by G. Tumour, p. 993. f. n., J.A.S.B , Dec. 1838.) 

2 It seems that * liaja' who was the highest authority in the administration of 
criminal justice was different from ordinary rajas who constituted the popular 
assembly. He was perhaps the seniormost amongst the rajas or was one elected from 
time to time to administer criminal justice. 

8 G. Tumour. An examination of the Pali Buddhisticnl Annals, J.A.S.B., Decem. 
ber 1838, pp. 993-94, f n 


It is from the Buddhist literature that we first realise 
the importance of the Licchavis as a great and powerful 
Ksatriya race in north-eastern India. 
Licchavis in the Vedic In the Brahmana literature, though 
there is repeated mention of Videha, 
which, in the Buddha's time, joined with the Licchavis and 
formed a confederation, there is no mention of the Licchavis. 
It is likewise remarkable that while the Mallas, their imme- 
diate neighbours, are mentioned in the great Epic, the 
Mahabharata, the Licchavis are not found among the races 
or peoples that were met by the Pandava brothers either in 
their peregrinations on pilgrimage, or on their mission of 
conquest at the time of the Rajasuya or the ASvatnedha. 
In the sixth century B.C. they come to our notice in the 
Jaina and Buddhist books but we meet them there as a 
powerful people in the enjoyment of great prosperity and of 
a high social status among the ruling races of eastern India, 
and as we have seen in the previous chapter, they had 
already evolved a system of government and polity bearing 
not a little resemblance to some of the democracies 1 of the 
western world, embodying all the latest methods of voting- 
It must have taken a long time to develop such an institution 

i It may, no doubt, be argued that the Licchavi constitution was not a demo- 
cracy because citizenship was confined only to the Licchavi clan, but in reply it may 
be pointed out that even in the great democracy of Athena, every resident was not 
4 citizen. The Metics and the Slaves, for instance, were excluded from citizenship. 


which can only have grown in the course of many centuries. 
But we must not imagine that the system was a creation of 
the Licchavis ; on the other hand, it seems that the samgha 
form of government was the normal form in ancient India 
even among the peoples that had a king at the head. The 
earliest Indian tradition of a king is that of a person elected 
by the people and ruling for the good of the people. This is 
clearly proved by the story of Bena and Prthu in theMaha- 
bharata. 1 The procedure of conducting the deliberations 
of an assembly must have been developing from the earliest 
Vcdic times as the samiti and the parisad were well known 
institutions in the Rgveda. The Licchavis must have 
modelled their procedure on that which was already in vogue 
among the Indian Aryans and adapted it to their own use. 
We may allow a century for the evolution of the particular 
form of government of the Licchavis from the already exist- 
ing system. Their emergence from obscurity may fairly be 
placed at the beginning of the seventh century B.C. It is 
true that we do not find the Licchavis among the Vedic 
peoples but in the fourth century B.C. to which Kautilya's 
Arthasastra may be supposed to belong, they have been 
mentioned along with the Kurupancalas and the Madras, 
i.e. with some of the powerful races of the Brahmanic period. 
We know nothing of the history of the Licchavis during 
the period they grew up and developed into the noble and 
powerful people as we find them in the Buddhist works. 
The earliest political fact of any importance that we know 

1 Mahabharata, Santiparva, Vaflgavasi Ed. Ch. 60, verse 94 


of, is that they had given one of their daughters in marriage 
to Seniya or Srenika Bimbisara, king of the gradually extend- 
ing monarchy of Magadha. The Liccha- 
*2$h5 wuSSnSf" vi lad y> according to the Nirayavali 
Sutra, one of the early works of the Jai- 
nas, was Cellana, the daughter of Cetaka, l one of the rajas of 
Vateali, whose sister Ksatriyani Trteala was the mother of 
Mahavlra, the founder of Jainism. In a Tibetan life of the 
Buddha, her name is Srlbhadra * and in some places, she 
is named Madda. This lady, however, is usually called 
Yaidehl in the Buddhist books, and from her, AjataSatru is 
frequently designated as Vedehiputto* or the son of the 
Videha princess. In the commentary on the Samyutta 
Nikaya, III, 2. sections 4-5, Buddhaghosa gives an alter- 
native meaning of the word Vedeha in Vedehiputta by resolv- 
ing it "into veda-iha, vedena-ihati or intellectual effort." 
He says that here the other meaning deriving the expression 
from Videha, the country, is not admissible. Some of the 
commentaries, those, for example, on Thusa and Taccha- 
siikara Jatakas, * state that AjataSatru's mother was a sister 
of the king of KoSala. Here the commentators have evi- 
dently made a confusion between the two queens of Bimbisara. 
Buddhaghosa himself in other passages 8 has taken the more 

Jatobi, Jaina Sutras, S.B.B., Vol. XXII, Intro., p. XIII. 
9 Ibid, p. XIII, note 3. 

s Mrs. Rhys Davids and S. Sumangala Thera, The Book of the Kindred Sayings, 
pt. I, p. 38, n. I. 

* Sainyutta Nikaya, pt. II, p. 268. t Pausboll, J at oka III, 121 & IV, 342. 

Commentary on Digha, I. 47, on Majjhima Nikaya, I. 125, on Samyutta 
Nikaya. II, 215, quoted by Mrs. Rhys Davids in " The Boole of the Kindred Sayings, 
part I, p. 109, f.n. 


natural sense of the word but sometimes, as here, he has 
been misled into a fanciful interpretation. 

The Divyavadana speaks of AjataSatru as Vaidehiputra 
in one of the Avadanas' and in another place, 1 it states, 
" At Rajagrha, reigns the King Bimbisara. Vaidehl is his 
Mahadevi (or chief queen) and Ajatasatru, his son and prince. 1 ' 
There can, therefore s be no doubt that the Videha princess 
was the mother of Ajatasatru. The Tibetan Dulva gives 
the name of Vasavi to Ajataatru's mother and narrates 
a story which cannot be traced in the Pali Buddhist books. 
We give here the story for what it is worth : " Sakala, a 
minister of king Virudhaka of Videha, had been obliged to 
flee from his country on account of the jealousy of the other 
ministers of the king ; so he went to VaiSali together with his 
two sons, Gopala and Sinha. Sakala soon became a promi- 
nent citizen in ValSall, and after a while he was elected 
Nayaka. His two sons married at VaiSali, and Sinha had a 
daughter whom they called Vasavi ; it was foretold that 
she would bear a son who would take his father's life, set the 
diadem on his own head, and seize the sovereignty for himself . 
Sinha's wife bore him, moreover, another daughter, whom 
they called Upavasavl, aud the seers declared that she would 
bear a son endowed with excellent qualities. 11 

" Gopala was fierce and of great strength, so he ravaged 
the parks of the Licchavis. To restrain him, the popular 
assembly gave him and his brother a park ; and thus it is said 

* Divyavadana, (Cowell & Neil), p. 55- 

Ibid. p. 545. Rajagrhe Raja Bimbisaro rajyam karayati . . tasya VaideW 
Mahudevf Aj&ta&atruh putrah kumaro." 


by the sthaviras in the sfctras, ' The Blessed One went out 
from Vesali to the sala forest of Gopala and Sinha.' " 

" When Sakala died, the people appointed Sinha, his son 
Nayaka; and Gopala slighted at this, departed from Vafeali 
and took up his residence at Rajagrha in Magadha where 
he became the first minister of Bimbisara." 

"A little later on, king Bimbisara married Vasavi, 
Gopala' s niece, and as she was of a family from Videha, she 
became known as Vaidehl. After a while she bore a son, who 
on account of the prediction made to his mother, received the 
name of Ajataatru, or the enemy (while) not (yet) born. 1 " 

Professor D. R. Bhandarkar holds that "this matrimonial 
alliance was a result of the peace concluded after the 
war between Bimbisara and the Licchavis"* and that 
"Bimbisara thus appears to have seized Magadha after 
expelling the Vajjis beyond the Ganges."' The only 
evidence, however, that he has put forward in support of 
these theories is that Vafeali is spoken of, in an early 
Buddhist work, the Sutta-Nipata,* as Magadham puram. 

Dr. D. R. Bhandarkar's theory is based on Rhys Davids' 
supposition that the expression, Vesalim Magadham puram 
in verse 1013 of the Sutta-Nipata (P. T. S.) refers to one 
and the same city, taking Magadham puram in apposition 
to Vesali. But the commentator has taken Magadham 
puraih to be a synonym of Rajagaha.' Mention of the 

i Rockhill, Wfe of the Buddha, pp. 63-64. 

* Carmichael Lectures, 1918, p. 74. s Ibid, p. 73. 

* (New edition) P.T.S., p. 194. 

* See Sutta-Nipata commentary, p. 584. "Migadhaxfa puranti Magadhapuraih 
Bajagahanti adhippayo." 


Pasana cetiya in the same verse also goes to show that 
Magadham puram was not Vaisali. In several places we find 
mention of the caityas or cetiyas round about Vafeall but 
nowhere do we come across a Pasana cetiya. From verse 
1014 of the Sutta-Nipata, it appears that this cetiya (caitya) 
was situated on a mountain peak. It is quite possible that 
the cetiya referred to was one of the cetiyas round about 
Rajagaha and most probably it was the Gijjhakflta monast- 
ery. There seems to have been some basis, however, to 
conclude that there was a war between Bimbisara and the 
Mcchavis, as such a war is referred to incidentally in the 
Tibetan Dulva. We shall quote the whole passage from 
Rockhill's Life of the Buddha inasmuch as the story traces 
the birth of Abhaya, another son of 

Birth of Abhaya, son . . . . , ' . , 

of Bimbisara by a Li- Bimbisara, also by a I/icchavi woman. 

cchavi woman. 

a L/icchavi named Mahanaman. From a kadali tree in an 
amra grove in his park was born a girl, lovely to look upon, 
perfect in all parts of her body, and he called her name 
Amrapali. When she was grown up, as there was a law of 
Vafeall by which a perfect woman was not allowed to marry, 
but was reserved for the pleasures of the people, she became 
a courtesan. Bimbisara, king of Magadha, heard of her 
through Gopala ; he visited her at Vafeali, though he was at 
war with the Licchavis, and remained with her seven days. 
Amrapali became with child by him, and borehggy^on 
whom she sent to his father. The boy appr 
fearlessly and climbed up to his breast 
king to remark 'This boy seems not to 


was called Abhaya or fearless." ' This story which makes 
Abhaya or Abhayakumara, as the Jaina books have it, a son 
of Ambapali (Amrapali), the courtezan of VaiSali, is not 
vouchsafed by the Pali books where her son through Biinbi- 
sara, is called Vimala-Kondanna who became a Bhikkhu and 
whose preachings are said to have given her a deep spiritual 

The Licchavis appear to have been on friendly terms 
with King Prasenajit of Koala, who 

The LJcchavis and 

Kinft Prasenajit of speaks of them as his friends in a pas- 
Ko4alfti sage of the Maj jhima Nikaya. Prasenaj i t 

proceeded to arrest Angulimala, the murderer, and on his 
way met the Buddha who enquired whether he was going to 
fight with Bimbisara of Magadha or the Licchavis of Vateali 
or some other rival kings; thereupon Prasenajit replied that 
all of them were his friends. 8 

The relation of the Licchavis with their neighbours, 

the Mallas, also seems to have been, in 
The relation of the . 

Ucchavu with the general, friendly as is evidenced by the 
Mallas standing by the Licchavis against 
their coktmon foe, Ajatagatru. The Jaina books also speak 
of nine Mfclla chiefs and nine Licchavi chiefs showing rever- 
ence to Ifahavira at the time of his passing away from the 
wodek There were, however, occasional hostilities, as is 
shown by the story of Bandhula, a Mallian prince. 

In the Bhaddasala Jataka/ we find that the Licchavis 

i Rockhill, Life of the Buddha, p. 64. 

Psa^Bs of the Sisters, pp. 120-21, Psalms of the Brethren, p. 65. 
8 HajjUma Nikaya P.T.S. Vol. II, pp. 100 -101, Aftgulimala Suttam. 
Jt%ka<Cowell'8 edition), Vol. IV, p. 94. 




hearing the sound of the chariot of Bandhula, put a strong 
guard by the side of the tank. Bandhula came down from 
his chariot and put the guards to flight and in the tank he 
bathed his wife and gave her water to drink and put her 
in his chariot and then left the town. The Licchavi chiefs 
were informed and they were angry. Five hundred I/icchavis 
mounting as many chariots, followed the general. They 
were asked not to follow but they heeded not and followed 
on and on till they were half dead. Bandhula said, " I cannot 
fight with the dead." They afterwards died. Bandhula, 
the Mallian general, at last became victorious. 

We next come to the relation of the lyicchavis with 

Ajatasatru, the son and successor of Bimbisara. It cannot 

_ be expected that the man whose greed 

The relation of the f r , . . ,., . & 

Licchavis with Ajata- for power and position did override even 
8tttru * the natural instinct of regard for his 

father's life, would show any tender feeling towards his 
mother's relations. On the other hand, he must have felt 
ftom the very beginning that the Licchavis formed the 
greatest bar to the realisation of his idea of Magadhan 
expansion and we find him taking the dreadful resolve, 
"I will root out these Vajjians, mighty and powerful 
though they be, I will destroy these Vajjians, I will bring 
these Vajjians to utter ruin." l 

The city of Vateall reached the zenith of prosperity but 
her prosperity could not be sustained by the Vajjians, who, 

Buddhist Suttas, S.B.B., Vol. XI, pp. I & 2. " Ahafthi f me vajji evaib- 
mahiddhike evarii-mahanubhave ucchejjami vajji vlnasessami vajji auaya-vyasanarii 
apftdeuami vajjlti." (Mahaparinibba^a Suttanta.) 


it seems, attacked AjataSatru, king of Magadha, many 
times. This enraged him very much and 

**ulS&? > * in order to baffle their attem P ts > tw f 

his ministers, Sunidha and Vassakara 
built a fort at Pataligama ' and at last Ajatasatru annihilat- 
ed the Vajjians. We agree with Prof. Rhys Davids 1 in 
holding that it was distinctly a political motive which 
led him to do so. We call it political on the ground that al- 
though the existing records of the Buddhists or of the Jainas 
may lead one to think that the motive was no more than 
personal grudge, it will be found that in the case of Ajata- 
satru, ambitious for domination over the neighbouring 
powers, the personal motive cannot be distinguished from 
the political. 

Ajatasatru was not on friendly terms with the Ljcchavis. 

He was under the impression that his 

Estrangement bet l . . 

ween Ajata 6atru and foster brother, Abhaya, (son of Bimbi- 
aya. s ra by Ambapali, a courtezan of VaiSali) 
had Licchavi blood in him and he liked the Licchavis very 
much. At this time, the Licchavis were gaining strength day 
by day, and Ajatasatru thought that if Abhaya sided with 
them, it would be veiy difficult for him to cope with the 
Licchavis. So he made up his mind to do away with them. 
In the Sumangalavilasim, * we find that there was a port 
near the Ganges extending over a yojana, half of which 

J Buddhist Suttas (S.B.K.l Vol. XI, p. 18. * Buddhist India, p. 12. 

- 1 " Gafigayarfi kira ekam pattanagamarii nissaya aggha Ajatasattuno ana a<J<Jha 
yojanam I,icchavinaib. Ettha pana a^apavattiUhanarii hotiti attho. Tatrapica 
pabbatapadato raahogghabha^daih otarati. Tarn sutva ajjayami sveyaifaiti, 


belonged to AjataSatru and half to the Licchavis and their 
orders were obeyed in their respective yojanas. There was 
a mountain not far from it, and at the foot of the mountain, 
there was a mine of precious substance (mahogghabhanda). 
A jatafeitru was late in coming there and the avaricious Liccha- 
vis took away all the precious substance. 
thc When A j atasatru came and learnt that all 
the precious substance had been taken 
away by the Licchavis, he grew angry and left the place. This 
happened also in the succeeding year. Having sustained a 
heavy loss he thought that there must be a fight between him 
and the Licchavis. He realised, however, that the Licchavis 
being numerically stronger, he would fail to carry out his pur- 
pose. So he conceived the design of destroying the independ- 
ence of the Licchavis by sowing seeds of dissension. Former- 
ly, the Licchavis were not luxurious but very strenuous and 
exerting, so AjataSatru could not get an opportunity of 
subduing them. He sent Vassakara, one of his ministers, 
to the Buddha, who predicted that in future the Licchavis 
would be delicate, having soft hands and feet, would use very 
luxurious and soft beds with soft pillows made of cotton, 
would sleep till sunrise ' and further declared : " By no other 
means will the Vajjians be overcome but by propitiating 

Ajataiattuno satnvidahantasseva Licchavi-rajano samagga sammodamana pnretaram 
gantva sabbaifa ganbanti. Ajatasattu pacca agantra tarn pavattiifa fiatTa 
kujjnitva gacchati. Te puna samvacchare pi tath'eva karonti. Attha so balava 
gbatftjato tada evath akasi. Tato cintcsi, ' galena saddhim ruddham nama 
bhariyaifa. Bkopi moghappaharo nama n'atthi." (Suttanta Pi^aka, Mahavagga 
Attbakatha, edited by U. Pe, p. 96.) 

> SaniyutU Nikiya, (P.T.S.), pt. II, p. 268. 



them with tributes or dissolving the subsisting union." 
Vassakara returned from the Buddha and stated to the king 
what the latter said about the Licchavis. The raja did not 
agree to propitiate the Vajjians with tributes as that would 
diminish the number of elephants and horses. So he decided 
to break up their union and Vassakara advised him to con- 
vene a meeting of the councillors to bring up some discussions 
, ^ regarding the Vajiians when in the midst 

Intrigue* of Vassakara. & . JJ . 

of the sitting, he (Vassakara) would quit 
the council after offering a remonstrance saying, "Maharaja, 
what do you want with them ? Let them occupy themselves 
with the agricultural and commercial affairs of their own 
(realm)/' Then he said to AjataSatru, " Maharaja! com- 
pletely cut off all my hair, bringing a charge against me for 
interdicting your discussion without either binding or flogging 
me. As I am the person by whom ramparts and ditches of 
your capital were formed and as I know the strong and 
the weak, high and low parts (of your fortification), I will 
tell the Vajjians that I am able to remove any obstacle you 
can raise. " The raja acted up to the advice of his minister, 
Vassakara. The Vajjians heard of the departure of Vassa- 
kara and some of them decided not to allow him to cross the 
river while others observed, " He (AjcitaSatru) has so treated 
him because he advocated our cause "; that being the case, 
they said (to the guards who went to stop him) "fellows, 
let him come. " Accordingly, the guards permitted him to 
come in. Now Vassakara being questioned by the Vajjians, 
told them why he was so severely punished for so slight an 
offence, and that he was there a Judicial Prime Minister. 


Then the Vajjians offered him the same post which he accepted 
and very soon he acquired reputation for his able adminis- 
tration of justice and the youths of the (Vajji) rulers went 
to him to have their training at his hands. Vassakara, on a 
certain da^ r , taking aside one of the 

The sowing of die- 

senskms among the chavi rulers (mysteriously) asked, "Do 
peopleplough afield ? " " Yes, they do; by 
coupling a pair of bullocks together." On another occasion, 
taking another Licchavi aside he significantly asked, rc With 
what curry did you eat (your rice) ? " and said no more. But 
hearing the answer, lie communicated it to another person. 
Then upon a subsequent occasion, taking another Licchavi 
aside, he asked him in a whisper, (f Art thou a mere beggar ? " 
He enquired, * ' Who said so ? " and the Brahmin, Vassakara, 
replied: "That Licchavi. " Again upon another occasion, 
taking another aside, he enquired, "Art thou a cowherd ? " 
and on being asked who said so, lie mentioned the name 
of some other Licchavi. Thus by speaking something to 
one person which had not been said by any other person, 
he succeeded in bringing about a disunion among the rulers 
in course of three years, so completely that none of them 
would tread the same road together. When matters stood 
thus, he caused the tocsin to be sounded as usual. Some 
of the Licchavi rulers disregarded their call saying "Let 
the rich and the valiant assemble. We are beggars and 
cowherds." The Brahmin sent a mission to the raja saying, 
''this is the proper time, let him come quickly." The raja 
on hearing this announcement, assembled his forces by 
beat of drum and started. The Vajjians on receiving inti- 


mation thereof, sounded the tocsin declaring, "Let us not 
allow the Raja to cross the river." On hearing this also, 
they refused to meet together saying, " Let the valiant rulers 
go." Again the tocsin was sounded and it was thus declared : 
"Let us defend ourselves with closed gates." No one res- 
ponded to the call. AjataSatru entered by the wide open 
gates, and came back after putting them to great calamities. 1 
Thus the Magadhan kingdom was very much extended 
during the reign of Ajatasatru. 

Of the subsequent history of the Licchavis we know 
very little. But this much is certain that they were not 
exterminated by Ajatasatru. What AjataSatru seems to 
have succeeded in doing, was that the Licchavis had to accept 
his suzerainty and pay him revenue, but they must have 
been independent in the matter of internal management 
and maintained in tact the ancient democratic institutions 
of personal liberty. Kautilya speaks of them two centuries 
after Ajatasatru as living under a sarhgha form of govern- 
ment, and the same learned author 
Candra GuptTMaurya advises king Candra Gupta Maurya to 
AiSa. Llccliavi8 "* seek tie help of these samghas which, 
on account of their unity and concord, 
were almost unconquerable. This shows that the Licchavis, 
though they might have been forced to acknowledge the 
suzerainty of Magadha, enjoyed a great deal of independence 
under Candra Gupta. There can be no doubt that under 
his grandson ASoka, the Licchavis accepted his suzerainty. 

1 G. Tumour, An Examination of the Pali Buddhistical Annals, No. V., J.A.S.B., 
Dec. 1838 pp. 994, f. 1^996, f. n. 


We next meet the lyicchivis (lyicchavis) in Manu's Code, 1 

the recension of which, was made according to Dr. Biihler,* 

sometime during the period 200 B.C. 

T 5taBrtoSiil 11 20 A - D -; in our opinion the date is 
likely to fall within the period of a 
Brahmanic revival under Pusyamitra Sunga, so that about 
a century after the time of Asoka, we find the Licchavis still 
living in Northern India as a Ksatriya people. We do not 
hear of them again until the fourth century A.D. when their 
name appears on the records of the Imperial Guptas. 

At the beginning of the fourth century A.D., Candra 
Gupta I. a son-in-law of the Licchavi 

Tb Z^SS^StS^ famil y and son of Ghatotkaca Gupta, 
established a new kingdom. 8 A gold 
coin was introduced under the name of Candra Gupta I. by 
his great son, Emperor Samudragupta who, by his many 
conquests, established his suzerain right over a great part of 
India. On the obverse were incised the figures of Candragupta 
and his Queen Kumaradevi and the former with his right hand 
offers an object which on some coins is clearly a ring to 
Kumaradevi who stands wearing a loose robe, ear-rings, 
necklace and armlets, and tight-fitting headdress ; the words 
"Candragupta" and "Kumaradevi," "Sri Kumaradevl" or 
" Kumaradevi Srih, " are inscribed in the Brahmi character of 
the fourth century A.D., and on the reverse were engraved the 
figure of Laksmi, the goddess of Fortune, seated on a lion 

i Manusaxhhita, X. 22. 

* Biibler, Iya\vs of Manu, S.B.E. Intro., p. czvii. 

3 R. D. Banerje, Pricin Mudra p. 12:. 


couchant with the legend " Licchavayah, " the Licchavis. l 
With this is to be combined the significant fact that the great 
Samudragupta in his Allahabad inscription takes pride in 
describing himself as 'Licchavidauhitra,' 'the son of a daughter 
of the Licchavis. ' These things combined together, justify 
the conclusion that about the fourth century A.D., when the 
Guptas rose to power, the Licchavis must have possessed 
considerable political power in north-eastern India. It is 
quite probable that Candragupta's dominions received 
considerable expansion by the country which he obtained 
through his Licchavi wife, perhaps by succession ; and very 
likely it was the accession of the Licchavi districts to his 
kingdom that enabled him to adopt the title of Maharaja- 
dhiraja. His son and successor wants apparently to empha- 
sise this fact by issuing a gold coin delineating the Licchavi 
connection, and it is very likely that the goddess Laksmi 
mounted on a lion couchant is the Licchavi symbol adopted 
by the Guptas, otherwise, the legend ' ( Licchavayah " by its 
side becomes unmeaning. We cannot agree with Dr. Allan 
when he avers, "Too much emphasis should not be laid on 
the pride of the Guptas in their Licchavi blood, but it was 
probably due rather to the ancient lineage of the Licchavis 
than to any material advantages gained by this alliance. " 
(p. xix.) The probabilities are, however, quite the reverse 
for reasons which we have already expatiated upon. It is 
significant that the epithet " Licchavidauhitra " is not only 
asserted by Samudragupta about himself, but it continues 

i Allan, Gupta Coins, pp. 8-u. 


to be a permanent appellation of this sovereign in the inscrip- 
tions of his successors. Mr. Allan presumes that it was to 
keep up the memory of his father, Candragupta, and mother, 
Kumaradevi, that the coin bearing their names and that 
of the Licchavis was issued by Samudragupta. It is not 
improbable that the inscription ' L/icchavayah ' which occurs 
in Candragupta's gold coins together with the name of his 
queen Kumaradevi may signify that she belonged to a royal 
family of the Licchavis previously reigning at Pataliputra ' 
(modern Patna) which seems to have been the original capital 
of the Gupta Empire. A similar opinion is also held by 
Dr. V.A. Smith who says that Candragupta, a local raja 
at or near Pataliputra, married Kumaradevl, a princess 
belonging to the Licchavi clan, famous in the early annals 
of Buddhism in or about the year 308. * In ancient times, 
the Licchavis of Vaisali had been the rivals of the kings of 
Pataliputra. Chandragupta's position was elevated through 
his Licchavi connections from the rank of a local chief. 8 
His son and successor often felt pride in describing himself 
as the son of the daughter of the Licchavis.* Before his 
death, his son by the Licchavi princess, Samudra Gupta, 
was selected by him as his successor. 6 

The Nepal inscriptions point out that there were two 
distinct houses, one of which, known as the Thakuri family, 
is mentioned in the Vamsavall but is not recorded in the 

< Rapson, Indian Coins, pp. 24, 25. 

* V.A. Smith. Early History of India, 3rd Ed., p. 279. 

V. A. Smith, Barly History of India, 3rd. Ed., p, 280. 

* Ibid, p. 280. s Ibid, p. 281. 


inscriptions ; and the other was the Licchavi or the Sflrya- 
vamSl family which issued its charters from the house or 
palace called Managriha and uniformly used an era with the 
Gupta epoch. 1 Thus we find that the Licchavis were not 
inferior to the Imperial Guptas so far as rank and power 
were concerned. 1 Their friendly relations with the Guptas 
were established by the marriage of Candra Gupta I with 
Kumaradevi, a daughter of the Licchavis. 

1 Fleet, Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, Vol. Ill, p. 135. 
Ibid, p. 135- 



The Jnatrikas formed the clan which gave India one 

of its greatest religious reformers. This 

jftfttruuw < ta Indian was Mahavira, the last Tlrthankara of 

tory ' the Jains. The name of the clan is also 

given as the Nay a or Natha clan. 1 

The Jnatrikas or the Khattiyas of the Naya (or Jnatri 

clan) as Dr. Hoernle says/ used to dwell 

Their location. fa y^-^ ( Basarfl ^ Kundagrama and 

Vaniyagama. Dr. Hoernle holds, " Beyond Kundapura in 
a further north-easterly direction lay the suburb (or station, 
sannivesa) of Kollaga (see 7) which appears to have been 
principally inhabited by the Kshattriyas of the Naya (or 
Jnatri) clan, to which Mahavira belonged." 8 It is stated 
in the Cambridge History of India* that just outside VaiSali, 
there was the suburb of Kundagrama, probably surviving 
in the modern village of Basukund. Mrs. Sinclair Stevenson 
says that some two thousand years ago, in Basarh, the same 
divisions existed as would be found to-day, and there, in fact, 
the priestly (Brahmana), the warrior (Ksatriya) and the 
commercial (Vaniya) communities lived so separately that 
their quarters were sometimes spoken of as though they had 

1 Uv&Mgadasao, vol. II, p. 4, . 11. * Ibid, vol. II, p. 4, f. n. 

Ibid, Vol. II, p. 4, f. n. 

* Cambridge History of India, Ancient India, edited by Rapson, vol. I, p. i<S7- 


been distinct villages, as VaiSali, Kundagrama and Vanijya- 
grama. Strangely enough it was not in their own but in the 
Ksatriya ward that Mahavira was to be the great hero of the 
Vaniya. : Vateali was undoubtedly a Ksatriya settlement 
and commercial people might have lived in it but we do not 
find any reference in the ancient literature and in coins and 
inscriptions to Vateali being exclusively a Brahmir settle- 
ment. Mrs. Stevenson has not cited any authority in 
support of the above statement. We are not prepared to 
accept it. Leaving aside the question of Vaisali being 
inhabited by the Brahmins, the other statements of Mrs. 
Stevenson seem to be appropriate. 

The Jain writers give an idealised picture of the 
Jnatrikas and tell us that they avoided 

Characteristics of the an( j were affaid of 

They abstained from wicked deeds, did 

not do any mischief to any being and therefore they did not 

partake of meat." Dr. Hoernle says, "outside their settle- 

ment at Kollaga, the Jnatrikas (Naya 

clan) possessed a religious establishment 

(or Cheyia) which bore the name Duipalasa ( 3). 
most Chei'yas, it consisted of a park enclosing a shrine, hence 
in the Vipaka Sutra, it is called the Duipalasa Park (Ujjana) 
and that it was owned by the Naya clan is shown by its 
description in Kap 115 and Ay, n, 15 22, where it is 
called Naya-Sandavane Ujjane or Naya-Sande Ujjane, i.e., 

Mrs. Sinclair Stevenson, Heart of Jainism, pp. 21-22. 
Jaina Sutras, pt II, S.B.E., vol. XLV, p. 416. 


the park of the Sandavana (or Cheiya) of the Naya clan." 1 
Thus we see that the Jnatrikas used to honour the Cheiyas 
or Caityas or shrines. The Naya clan seems also to have 
supported a body of monks who followed Pargvanatha, an 
ascetic, who lived some 250 years before Mahavlra.* It is 
stated in the Uvasagadasar that Mahavlra's parents (and 
with them probably the whole clan of Naya Kshattriyas) 
are said to have been followers of the tenets of ParSvanatha. 3 
Lastly, when Mahavlra appeared, the members of his clan 
became his devoted followers. The Stitrakritanga tells us 
that those who followed the law proclaimed by Mahavlra 
were virtuous and righteous and they were established in 

Dr. Hoernle says that VaiSali, one of the settlements of 
the Jnatrikas, was an oligarchic republic, the government 

of which was "vested in a senate com- 
overmen . p ose d of the heads of the resident 

Ksatriya clans and presided over by an officer who had the 
title of king and was assisted by a viceroy and a commander- 
in-chief." * Mrs. S. Stevenson says that the government of 
Vafeali seems to have resembled that of a Greek state. 6 

The chief of the 'Ksatriya Nata Clan was Siddhartha 

who married Trisala who was the sister 
Sid ^ftSdST. cllicf f Cetaka, the most eminent amongst 

the Licchavi princes. Siddhartha and 
TriSala were the parents of Mahavlra, the last and the most 

' Uvasagadasao, vol. II, pp. 4 & 5 f. n. 

* Mrs. Sinclair Stevenson, Heart of Jainism, p. 31. 

* Hoernle's ed. vol. II. p. 6. * Jaina Sutras, pt. II, pp. 256-257. 

* J.A.S.B., 1898, p. 40. Heart of Jainism, p. 22. 


famous of the Jaina Tirthankaras. The Svetambaras hold 
that the embryo of the Tirthankara, which first entered the 
womb of the Brahmin lady Devananda, was then transferred 
to the womb of Trteala. This story is believed to be untrue 
by the Digambaras. Siddhartha and his wife were worship- 
pers of Parva and gave their son the name of Vardhamaua 
(Mahavira). Dr. Hoernle speaks of Siddhattha thus, 
"Though as may be expected, the Sacred Books of the 
Jains speak of him in exaggerated terms, they do not, I 
believe, ever designate him as ' the king of Kundapura or 
Kundagama' ; on the contrary, he is, as a rule, only called 
the khattiya Siddhattha (Siddhatthe khattiye) and only 
exceptionally he is referred to simply as King Siddhattha. 
This is perfectly consistent with his position as the chief of 
the Kshatriyas of Kollaga. Accordingly Mahavira himself 
was born in Kollaga and naturally when he assumed the 
monk's vocation, he retired (as related in Kap 114, 116) 
to the Chei'ya of his own clan, called Dui'palasa and situated 
in the neighbourhood of his native place, Kollaga. Maha- 
vira's parents are said to have been followers of the tenets 
of ParSvanatha" 1 as we have already said. Mahavira on 
renouncing the world would probably first join ParSva's 
sect, in which, however, he soon became a reformer and 
chief himself.* 

Mahavira, the son of Siddhartha and Trigala, is undoubt- 
edly the most notable scion of the 
Jnatrika clan. A side-light on the 

Uvaiagadasao, vol. II, pp. 5-6. Ibid, p. 6. 


tremendous influence exercised by this remarkable man on 
his fellowmen is thrown by a passage occurring in the 
canonical literature of his bitter antagonists, the Buddhists. 
This passage may be translated thus, " He is the head of an 
order, of a following, the teacher of a school, well-known 
and of repute as a sophist, revered by the people, a man of 
experience, who has lon been a recluse, old and well-stricken 
in years" ' (Dialogues of the Buddha, II. , p. 66). A detailed 
sketch of the life and work of Mahavlra will fill a volume 
and is beyond the scope of the present treatise. We may, 
however, mention the fact that it was he who brought the 
Jfiatrikas into intimate touch with the neighbouring com- 
munities of eastern India and developed a religion which is 
still professed by millions of Indians. Another celebrity of 
the Jnatrika clan was Ananda, a staunch follower of 
Mahavlra. The Jaina work, Uvasagadasao, mentions that 
he had with him a treasure of four kror measures of gold 
deposited in a safe place. Again he is represented as a 
person whom many kings, princes and other dignitaries 
down to merchants found it necessary to consult on many 
matters requiring advice. He had a devoted wife named 
Sivananda. 1 

1 * Safigbi ceva ga$T ca ga^acarivo ca nato yasassi titthakaro sadhusammato 
bahujanassa rattan&u tiropabbajito addhagato vayo anupatto." 
* Uvaiagadasao, II., Tr. pp. 7-9. 


The Videhas are mentioned as a people in a very advan- 
ced state of civilisation in the Brahmana 
Vedftc evidence. 

portion of the Vedas. That part of the 

country where they lived, appears to have been known by 
the name of Videha even in the still more ancient times of 
the Samhitas. The Samhitas of the Yajurveda mention the 
cows of Videha which appear to have been specially famous 
in ancient India in the Vedic times. 1 

According to Julius Eggeling, there lived to the east 
of the Madhyadesa at the time of the 
redaction of the Brahmanas, a con- 
federacy of kindred peoples known as 
the KoSalavidehas occupying a position of no less impor- 
tance than that of the Kurupancalas. He further states 
that the legendary account is that these people claimed 
Videgha Mathaya to be their common ancestor and they are 
said to have been separated from each other by the river 
Sadanlra (corresponding to either the Rapti or the Gandak). 
In his opinion the Videhan country was in those days the 
extreme east of the land of the Aryans.* Dr. Weber points 

i The commentator of the Taittiriya Satfahita explains the adjective Vaidehi by 
Vifiitta-deha-sambandhini, having a splendid body 1 (see Vedic IndeT, Vol. II, 
p. 398 and Keith's Veda of black Yajus school, Vol. I, p. 138). 

gaUpatha Brahmana, S.B.B., Vol. XII, Intro. XEJI-XLIIT. 



out that the Aryans apparently pushed further up the river 
Saraswatl led by Videgha Mathava and his priest as far east 
as the river Sadanira which formed the western boundary 
of the Videhas or more probably the Gandak which was the 
boundary between the Kosalas and the Videhas. ' 

The country is said to have derived its name from 
this king Videgha Mathava or Videha 
ename. introduced the sacrificial 

fire; and according to some, this introduction of the sacri- 
ficial fire is symbolical of the inauguration of the Brahmanical 
faith in the region. As the legend is of importance in con- 
nection with the question of Aryan settlement, in the Videha 
country, we quote it here ii? full from the Satapatha Brah- 
mana :- - 

" Mathava, the (king of) Videgha, carried Agni Vaisvanai a 
in his mouth. The Rsi Gotama Rahugana was his family 
priest. When addressed (by the latter), he made no answer 
to him, fearing lest Agni might fall from his mouth. 

He (the priest) began to invoke the latter with verses of 
the Rgveda, 'We kindle thee at the sacrifice, O wise Agni, 
thee the radiant, the mighty caller to the sacrificial feast 
(Rgveda, V., 26, 3)! O Videgha!' 

He (the king) did not answer. (The priest went on), 
'Upwards, O Agni, dart thy brilliant, shining rays, thy flames, 
thy beams, (Rgveda VIII. 44, 16) O Videgha a a! 

Still he did not answer. (The priest continued), 'Thee, 
O butter-sprinkled one! we invoke. (Rgveda, V. 26, 2); 

' S.B.E. Vol. XII, p. 104. f. 



so much he uttered, when at the very mentioning of butter, 
Agni VaiSvanara flashed forth from the (king's) mouth: he 
was unable to hold him back; he issued from his mouth, 
and fell down on this earth. 

Mathava, the Videgha, was at that time on the (river) 
Saraswati. He (Agni) thence went burning along this earth 
towards the east ; and Gotama Rahugana and the Videgha 
Mathava followed after him as he was burning along. He 
burnt over (dried up) all these rivers. Now that (river), 
which is called 'Sadanlra/ flows from the northern (Himalaya) 
mountain : that one he did not burn over. That one the 
Brahmans did not cross in former times, thinking, ' it has not 
been burnt over by Agni VaiSvanara.' 

Now-a-days, however, there are many Brahmans to 
the east of it. At that time it (the land east of the Sadanlra) 
was very uncultivated, very marshy, because it had not been 
tasted by Agni VaiSvanara. 

Now-a-days, however, it is very cultivated, for the 
Brahmans have caused (Agni) to taste it through sacrifices. 
Even in late summer that (river), as it were, rages along : so 
cold is it, not having been burnt over by Agni VaiSvanara. 

Mathava, the Videgha, then said (to Agni), 'Where 
am I to abide ?' 'To the east of this (river) be thy abode, 1 
said he. Even now this (river) forms the boundary of the 
KoSalas and the Videhas ; for these are the Mathavas (or 
descendants of Mathava). 1 ' * 

Very great importance has rightly been attached 

' Datapath* Brahmaija, trans, by BggeHng, S.B.B. XII pp. 104-106. 


to this passage which, since the days of Professor Weber, 
has been taken by scholars to indicate the progress of Vedic 
Aryan civilisation from north-western India towards the east. 
Though we cannot be sure about this point, yet it shows at 
least that in times that the Satapatha Brahmana considers 
as ancient, the Videha country had received Vedic civilisa- 
tion and the cult of offering sacrifices in fire had developed 
there in those early days. According to tradition, the Sata- 
patha Brahmana was compiled in the Videha country by 
Yajnavalkya who flourished in the court of Samrat Janaka, 
though parts of it bear testimony to having originated in the 
country lying farther to the west like the other great Brah- 

In the later mantra period, Videha must have been 


deha's contact with Vedic culture, and the Satapatha Brah- 

Vedic culture. . ' * . . 

mana clearly indicates thatthegreat spiri- 
tual and intellectual lead offered by Samrat Janaka and Rsi 
Yajnavalkya had to be accepted by the whole of Northern 
India. Rsis from the Kurupancala regions flocked to the 
court of Janaka and took part in the discussions held about 
the supreme Brahman and had to admit the superior know- 
ledge of Yajnavalkya. In our opinion, however, the Videha 
country must have received Vedic culture long before 
the time of the compilation of this Brahmana, as we find in 
the Brihadaranyaka Upanisad which forms a part of it, 
that Samrat Janaka of Videha was a great patron of Vedic 
culture and that to his court repaired Rsis from the whole of 
Northern India. Thus we read there : " Janaka Vaideha 


(the King of the Videhas) performed a sacrifice at which 
many presents were offered to the priests of (the ASvamedha) . 
Brahmanas of the Kurus and the Pancalas had come thither, 
and Janaka Vaideha wished to know, which of those Brah- 
manas was the best read. So he enclosed a thousand cows, 
andten padas (of gold) were fastened to each pair of horns. 
And Janaka spoke to them : ' Ye venerable Brahmanas, he 
who among you is the wisest, let him drive away these cows/ 

Then those Brahmanas durst not, but Yajnavalkya 
said to his pupil: 'Drive them away, my dear.' 

He replied: C O glory of the Saman,' and drove them 

The Brahmanas became angry and said: 'How could he 
call himself the wisest among us ? ' 

Now there was Avala, the Hotr priest of Janaka 
Vaideha. He asked him : f Are you indeed the wisest among 
us, O Yajnavalkya?' He replied: 'I bow before the wisest 
(the best knower of Brahman), but I wish indeed to have 
these cows.' 

Then ASvala, the Hotr priest, undertook to question 
him." Yajnavalkya gave full and satisfactory answers to 
all the questions put by Agvala, so that at last 'Agvala 
held his peace/ as we are told in the naive language of the 

Then Jaratkarava Artabhaga took up the questionnaire, 
and he also was forced to hold his peace like his predecessor, 
Avala. Then followed in succession Bhujyu L,ahyayani, 
Usasta Cakrayana, Kahola Kausltakeya, GargI Vacaknavi, 
Uddalaka Aruni, and all of them had ultimately to hold 


their peace. Then again Girgi Vacaknavl came to their 
rescue, and the way she put the question is interesting, 
showing that the Videhas put two arrows to their bow-string 
at the same time. We read here : 

"Then Vacaknavl said: 'Venerable Brahmanas, I shall 
ask him two questions. If he will answer them, none of 
you, I think, will defeat, him in any argument concerning 
Brahman.' " 

"Yajnavalkya said, 'Ask, O Gargi."' 

"She said: 'O Yajnavalkya, as the son of a warrior 
from the Kagis or the Videhas might string his loosened bow, 
take two pointed foe-piercing arrows in his hand and rise 
to do battle, I have risen to fight thee with two questions. 
Answer me these questions.' " But these questions fared no 
better than those had been asked before, and Gargl at last 
exhorted the Rsis thus, "Venerable Brahmans, you may 
consider it a great thing, if you get off by bowing before 
him. No one, I believe, will defeat him in any argument 
concerning Brahman." Then she held her peace. 

Then rose Vidagdha Sakalya, evidently from the Kuru- 
Pancala country, the Brahmanas of which held up their 
heads very high in the early Brahmana period. He in the 
course of the discussion that followed, said: 'Yajnavalkya, 
because thou hast decried the Brahmanas of the Kuru- 
Pancalas, what Brahman dost thou know ?' 

Yajnavalkya non-plussed him, as he had done the rest, 
and at last threw out a challenge: "Reverend Brahmanas, 
whosoever among you desires to do so, may now question 
me, or question me, all of you. Or whosoever among you 


desires it, or I shall question all of you.' 1 "But," the 
Upanfead adds, " those Brahmanas durst not (say anything)." 
(Brihadaranyaka Upanisad, III. 1-9). 

We have quoted this episode from the Upanisad to 
show that at the time of the Satapatha Brahmana, the 
Videha Brahmanas were superior to the Kuru-Pancalas as 
regards the Upanisadic phase of the development of Vedic 

In other works of the Brahmana period as well as of the 
Sutra period that followed, other celebrated kings of Videha 
are mentioned (vide Vedic Index, II, 298), so that there can 
be no question that the Videhans maintained a high position 
in Vedic society at least in the Brahmana period, and from 
the superior intellectual position that they had attained 
in this period it is legitimate to assume that Vedic Aryan 
culture had taken its root in Videha long before the Brahmana 
age, and most probably in the early Samhita age of the 

Besides the great Vahudakgina sacrifice performed by 
Janaka, 1 and attended by the Brahmins 

Sacrifices in Videha. 

of Kuru and Pancala to which we have 
already referred, the Jataka stories, too, refer to sacrifices 
performed by the Videhan kings. Goats were sacrificed 
in the name of religion. 2 We are told in the Puranas that 
Nimi, Iksvaku's son, a king of Videha, performed a sacrifice 
for a thousand years with the help of Vai$ha who had 

i Described by Aswaghosa as one who being a householder attained merit lead- 
ing to final bliss. 

' Jataka, Vol. I, p. 166 foil. 


previously officiated as high-priest at a certain Yajna lasting 
for a long time performed by Indra. On the completion of 
that ceremony VaSigtha went to Mithila to commence the 
sacrifice of King Nimi. 1 

The evidence of the Adhyatma Ramayana also testifies 
to the Yajnika activities of the Videhan royal family. ViSva- 
mitra is represented r.s saying to Rama who was with 
Lak^mana, " Dear, we are going to Mithila, of which Janaka 
is the ruler. After attending the great Yajna of Janaka, 
we shall make for Ayodhya." (Adhyatma Ramayana, 
Balakanda, Chap. VII, p. 68 3 Kali Sankara Vidyaratna's 

Coming to the Epic age we find Ramacandra, the hero 
of the Ramayana. marrying Vaidehi. the 

Videha in the Epics. 

adopted daughter of Janaka. King of 
Mithila. 2 This Janaka is probably not the same person as 
the patron of Yajnavalkya ; it appears that several sovereigns 
of the dynasty bore that title which had been rendered 
glorious by the intellectual and political powers of the Vedic 
King. The Ramayana gives a splendid picture of the 
Videha capital and the wide and richly equipped sacrificial 
place of King Janaka. 

The distance between Mithila and Ayodhya may also 
mm ,__ fc a be gathered from the fact that during the 

Mithila, the capital. . 

reign of Janaka, king of Videha, when 
ViSwamitra came to Mithila with Rama and Laksmana, 
it took them four days to reach Mithila from Ayodhya. 

> Vi$nupurana, p. 346 (Vaugavasi edition). 

2 Ramayana, Balakangam (Bombay edition), chap. 73. 


They took rest for one night only at ViSala on their 
way. 1 

The messengers sent by Janaka reached DaSaratha's 
capital in three days of very fast travelling and DaSaratha on 
his journey to the Videhan capital in his chariots took four 
days. Mithila, the capital, is identified by tradition with 
modern Janakapura in the hills in the present Nepalese 
territories ; a large number of pilgrims visits it every year. 

In the Mahabharata, Videha, its capital Mithila, and 
its king Janaka are mentioned many times. After Yudhi$- 
thira's accession to the throne of Indraprastha, before the 
Rajasfiya sacrifice, Bhima defeated in the course of his 
digfrijaya, the king of the Videha people (Vaidehakafi ca 
Rajanam) [Sabha, Ch. 30] ; Kama also conquered Mithila 
the Videha capital in his digvijaya (Vana, 254) ; the cele- 
brated sacrifice of Janaka is referred to in several places 
(Vana, Chs. 132, 134, etc.), a conversation between Janaka 
and Yajnavalkya is related in the Santiparva (Ch. 311). 
There are many references to Janaka's spiritual enlighten- 
ment, his talks with Pancasikha, with Sulabha and others 
and the teaching imparted by him to the young Suka (Santi- 
parva, Chap. 327, etc.). Krsna with Bhlmasena and Arjuna 
visited Mithila, the capital of the Videhas, on his way 
from Indraprastha to Rajagrha (Sabha 20). The Videhas 
are mentioned twice in the list of peoples in the Bhi?maparva, 
once as Videhas along with the Magadhas and again as Vai- 
tehas along with the Tamraliptakas. 

Ritn&7a*a (Vafigariif edition), 1-5. 


The Vinu Parana also mentions the Videha country, 
furnishes a list of its rulers from ancient 
times and gives an account of the origin 
of the name of Videha and also that of 
Mithila, the capital. It relates that Vasistha having performed 
the sacrifice of Indra proceeded to Mithila to commence the 
sacrifice of King Nimi. On reaching there he found that the 
king had engaged Gautama to perform the sacrificial rites. 
Seeing the king asleep he cursed him thus : " King Nimi 
will be bodiless (Videha, vi vigata, deha) inasmuch as he 
having rejected me has engaged Gautama." The king being 
awake cursed Vasistha saying that Vasistha too would perish 
as he had cursed a sleeping king. Rsis churned the dead 
body of Nimi. As a result of the churning, a child was 
born, afterwards known as Mithi, his birth being due to 
churning. The most important Videhan king was, nc doubt, 
Janaka but we have reference to other kings in our ancient 
literature, namely, Sagaradeva, Bharata, 
Angirasa, Ruci, Suruci, Patapa, Maha- 
patapa, Sudassana, Neru, Mahasammata, Mucala, Maha- 
mucala, two Kalyanas, 1 6atadhanu of ill-fame,* Makhadeva, 
Sadhina, Suruci, Nimi and others. Mithila was founded 
by King Mithi better known as Janaka. According to the 
Bhavi$ya Parana, Nimi's son, Mithi founded a beautiful 
city near Tirhoot which was named Mithila after him. Prom 
the fact of his having founded the city, he came to be known 

a, Geiger's translation, p. 10. 
Vifnapurana, pt. Ill, Chap. XVIII, p. 217. (Vangavaii Bdn.) 


as Janaka. 1 The Mahagovinda Suttanta of the Digha 
Nikaya gives another account of its origin and states that 
Mithila of the Videhas was built by Govinda. 4 

Kings of Videha usually maintained friendly relations 

with neighbouring powers. We have 

Matrimonial relations already referred to the marriage of Sita, 

with the neighbouring 

powersmarriage of a daughter of Janaka, king of Videha, with 
* prince rfKoiaia. Ratnacandra, the son of Dasaratha, king 
of Kosala mentioned in the Ramayana. 
Instances of matrimonial alliances concluded by the kings 
of Videha with the neighbouring royal families occur also 
in later literature. Dr. D. R. Bhandarkar 
points out that in the plays of Bhasa, 
Udayana is called Vaidehlputra. This 
clearly indicates that his mother was a princess of Videha." 
In the Buddhist literature, we have a reference to another 
Videhan princess who was the mother of 
u,^the Vaide- AjataSatru and was no doubt a queen of 

Bimbisara. Her name was Vasavi. * 
Vardhamana Mahavlra, the great founder of Jainism, 
" a Videha, son of Videhadatta, a native 
of Videha, a prince of Videha, had lived 
thirty years in Videha when his parents 

l Bhavi$yapurana, " Nixneh putrastu tatraiva. .purijauana .vimarthut jinakab 
saca kirtitah." 

=2 P.T.S., Vol. II, p. 235. 

A Carmichael lectures, 1918, pp. 58 & 59, Udayana is addressed as Vaideuiputra 
(S. V. Act. 6, p. 68, Ganapati S&strl's Bdn.). 

* RockhUl, Ivife of the Buddha, pp. 63-64. 


died." * Mithila was his favourite resort. Here six mon- 
soons were spent by him. * 

At the time when the Buddha preached his religion, we 
find the ancient Videha country cut up into parts, the 
Licchavis occupying the foremost position among the tribes 
that occupied it in former times. Eight peoples are named 
as making up the Vajjian confederacy, the Licchavis and 
the Videhas named as such, occupying a prominent position. 
The confederacy, according to Kautilya, was a RajaSabdo- 
_ pajivin Sangha. " Videha was 24 yoja- 

~ " nas in length from the river KauSik! to 

the river Gandak and sixteen yojanas in breadth from the 
Ganges to the Himalayas (Brihat Visnupurana, " Kau&ikim 

tu samarabhya Mithila nama nagari tatraste loka viSru- 

ta"). The capital of Videha was Mithila situated about 
thirty-five miles north-west from Vesali. * 

It is stated in the Jatakas that the city of Mithila, the 
capital of the Videhans, was seven leagues and the kingdom 
of Videha three hundred leagues in extent. 8 It was the 
capital of the kings Janaka and Makhadeva in the district 
now called Tirhut. tt The city of Mithila in Jambudvipa 
had plenty of elephants, horses, chariots, oxen, sheep and 
all kinds of wealth of this nature together with gold, silver, 
gems, pearls and other precious things. 7 From a Jataka 

Jaino Sutras, S.B.E., Vol. XXII, pt. I, p. 256. 

Ibid, p. 264. 

ArthaSastra, translated by Shamasastri, p. 455. 

Rhys Davids, Buddhist India, p. 26. 

J ataka(Cowell's edition), Vol III, p. 222. 

Buddhist India, p. 37. 1 Beat's Romantic Legend of akya Buddha, p. 30. 


description, we learn that the kingdom of Videha had 16,000 
villages, storehouses filled, and 16,000 dancing girls. l Mag- 
nificent royal carriages were drawn by four horses. The 
Videhan king was seen seated in a carriage drawn in state 
around his capital. ' 

In the Si-Yu-Ki (Buddhist Records of the Western 
World) we find that the Chinese traveller, Hiuen Tsiang, 
describing the kingdom of Fo-li-shi (Vrijji) says that the 
capital of the country is Chen-shu-na. At the foot of page 
77 we find a note by the translator who calls our attention 
to the fact that the country of the Vrijis was that of the 
confederated eight tribes of the people called the Vrijis. 
He quotes V. de St. Martin who connects the name Chen- 
shu-na with Janaka and Janakapur, the capital of Mithila. * 
From a very early time, Videha figured as a place 
frequented by merchants. At the time 
of Buddha Gautama we find people 
coming from SavatthI to Videha to sell 
their wares. When the Buddha was at Savatthi, a disciple 
of his, who was an inhabitant of SavatthI, took cart-loads of 
articles and went to Videha for trade. There he sold his 
articles and filled the carts with articles got in exchange and 
then proceeded towards SavatthI. When he was proceeding 
through a forest, one wheel of a cart broke down. Then 
another man who had gone out of his own village with an 
axe to cut down trees, reached the very spot while wander- 
ing in the forest. He saw the disciple dejected on account 

* Jitaka, Vol. Ill, p. aaa. t ibid, Vol. II, p. 37. 

Beaft Records of the Western World. Vol. II, p. 78. n 


of the breaking of the wheel. Taking pity on the traveller, 
he cut down a tree, made a strong wheel out of it, and fixed 
it to the cart and thus got him out of the trouble. The 
latter then succeeded in reaching Savatthi. 1 

The Videhans were a charitable people. Many insti- 
tutions of charity were in existence. 
Daily six hundred thousand pieces were 
spent in alms-giving. 2 We find it stated 
in the Makhadeva Jataka how a Videhan king, when he re- 
nounced the wordly life, gave a village to his brother which 
fetched him much. 

The Jataka stories occasionally make extravagant 
demands upon popular credence as when they relate how the 
average length of human life at the time of the Buddha 
Gautama was thirty thousand years. More fortunate than 
the average mortal, King Makhadeva of 
Mithila had a lease of life for eighty-four 
thousand years/ in the earlier portion of which he amused 
himself as a royal prince and later on was appointed a 
viceroy, and last of all he became a king. We, however, 
come to a more sober estimate when we find it related that 
there lived in Mithila, a Brahmin named Brahmayu, aged 
one hundred and twenty years, who was well versed in the 
Vedas, Itihasas, Vyakarana, Lokayata and was endowed 
with all the marks of a great man. 4 

i Dhammapala's Paramatthadipan! on the Theragathi, pt. Ill, pp. 277-27%. 

* J&taka (Cowell), Vol. IV, p. 224. 

> Jataka, (Cowell), Vol. I, p. 31. 

If ajjhima Nikaya, Vol. II, P* I, pp. 133-134- 


Polygamy appears to have been in vogue among the 
kings of Videha. Brahmadatta, king of 
oy ous. Benares, had a daughter named Sume- 
dha whom he declined to give in marriage to a Videhan 
prince who had a large number of wives, fearing that her co- 
wives would make her life very miserable. So he thought 
that he would marry his daughter to a prince who would 
wed her alone and take no other wife. 1 

Many writers bear testimony to the devotion and faith- 
fulness of Videhan princesses. The story of Sita is too well- 
known to be repeated. It is stated in the Amitayurdhyana 
Satra that when AjataSatru arrested his father Bimbisara at 
the instigation of Devadatta and confined him in a room 
with seven walls, declaring that none should approach him, 
Vaidehi, the queen-mother, who was very faithful to her 
husband, having purified herself by bathing and washing, 
having anointed her body with honey and ghee mixed with 
corn-flour and having concealed the juice of grapes in the 
various garlands she wore, saved his life. AjataSatru enquir- 
ed about his father and he was informed by the warder of 
the gate about what Vaidehi had done. This enraged him 
much and he wanted to kill his mother. At this the 
ministers remonstrated with him and he had to give up this 
idea. Vaidehi was kept in seclusion. She showed great 
respect to the Buddha who appeared before her and gave 
her a long discourse on peace and contentment. * 

We read in one of the Jatakas that in Videha the people 

1 Jataka, Vol. IV, pp. 198-205. * S.B.E., Vol. XUX, pp. 761-201. 


reproached the king for his childlessness and suggested to 

the king various devices which could be 

^ Wl vid i011in accepted or rejected by the king who 

might ask for the advice of the people 

as to what to do. l 

The kings of Mithila were men of high culture. We 

have already referred to Janaka, the great Rajarsi of the 

Brahmanic period, who had received Brahinavidya or 

Atmavidya from the great sage Yajnavalkya, the reputed 

author of the Yajiiavalkyasamhita. 2 In the Buddhist age, 

we find Sumitra, king of Mithila, devoted 

Vlde oi* ea k rning. lovc to the P^ctice and study of the true law. * 

King Videha of Mithila had four sages 

to instruct him in law. * 

In the past when King Videha was reigning at Mithila, 
his queen bore him a son who grew up 
and was e d uca t e d at Taxila. 6 Taxila 
was the seat of learning where the 
Videhan princes, like the princes of the other States, 8 used to 
receive education. 

Stories regarding the religious proclivities of the royal 
family of Videha are frequently met with in our ancient 
literature. Once Nimi, king of Videha, was looking down at 
the street through an open window of the palace. A hawk 

1 Jataka. Vol. V, pp. 141-42. 

2 Anargha Raghava (Nirnayasagara edition), p. 117. 
S Bed, Romantic Legend of akya Buddha, p. 30. 

J&taka (Cowell), Vol. VI, p. 156. ' Ibid, Vol. II, p. 27. 

See my paper, " Taxila as a seat of learning in the Pali Literature. " J.A.S.B. , 
Vol. XII, 1916. 

See also my " Historical Gleanings ", p. I, foil. 


was then seen flying up into the air, taking some meat from 
the meat market. The bird was moles- 

8ttMT ofvid3to. klllg ted by some otlier birds which began to 
peck it with their beaks. It had to 
give up the piece of meat as their pecking was too much for 
it and the same piece of meat was then taken up by another 
bird which met with the same fate and dropped it and a 
third took it and was molested in the same way. Thereupon 
the following thoughts arose in the king's mind: -"The 
possessor was unfortunate and the relinquisher was happy ; 
sorrow befell a person who indulged in the pleasures of the 
senses but happiness was the lot of the man who renounced 
them; as he had sixteen thousand women he ought to 
live in happiness ; but the pleasures of the senses should be 
renounced like the hawk relinquishing the morsel of flesh. " 
Considering this, wise as he was, he realised the three 
properties of blessedness and gained spiritual illumination 
and reached the wisdom of a Paccekabuddha. ' 

Another Jataka story relates that Videha, king of 

vid ha Videha, and Bodhisattva, king of Gan- 

Kinft Bodhisattva of dhra. were on friendly terms though 


they never met each other. Once on the 
fast day of the full-moon, the king of Gandhara took the vow 
of the commands (a vow to keep the five moral precepts) and, 
sitting on a royal throne prepared for him, delivered before 
his ministers a discourse on the substance of the law. At 
that moment Rahu was overshadowing the full moon's orb 

^ Jataka, Vol. Ill, p. 230. 


so that the moon's light became dim by an eclipse. The 
ministers told the king that the moon had been seized by 
Rahu. The king observing the phenomenon thought that 
all the trouble came from outside ; his royal retinue was 
nothing but a trouble and that it was not proper that he 
should lose his light like the moon seized by Rahu. He then 
made over his kingdom to his ministers and took to a religious 
life and having attained transcendental faculty, he spent the 
rainy season in the Himalayan regions, devoting himself 
to the delight of meditation. 

The king of Videha when he heard of the religious life 
of the king of Gandhara abdicated the throne of Mithila 
and went to the Himalayan region and became a hermit. 
The two ex-kings lived together in peace and friendliness 
without knowing each other's antecedents. The ascetic of 
Videha waited upon the ascetic of Gandhara. One day 
they saw the moon's light destroyed. The former asked the 
master (the ascetic of Gandhara) as to the cause of it. He 
was told by the master that all trouble came from outside 
like the trouble to the moon seized by Rahu and that he 
(the master) taking the moon's orb seized by Rahu as his 
theme, had left his kingdom and taken to a religious life. 
Whereupon Videha recognised the ex-king of Gandhara who 
had surely seen the good of a religious life and said that he 
had heard of it and had taken him as his ideal and left his 
kingdom to lead a religious life. 1 

We have already referred to the long life of King Makha- 

Jataka (Cowell's edition), Vol. Ill", pp. 322-223. 


r< * 

H$eva of Mithila. The story of his renunciation may be 
summarised in a few words. One day he 
Kto 4SSS?tflS[r 8 asked his barber to inform him when any 
grey hair on his head would be noticed 
by him. One day the barber saw a grey hair and placed 
it on the hand of the king who after seeing it became morti- 
fied and thought that his days were numbered. His eldest 
son was sent for and was asked to take charge of the 
sovereignty. The old king became a recluse and lived in a 
grove which was named Makhadeva' s mango-grove. He 
developed very high spiritual powers and after death was 
reborn in the realm of Brahma. Passing thence he became 
a king in Mithila and once more became a hermit. He 
again came to the realm of Brahma. ' 

Sadhina, a righteous king in Mithila, kept the five virtues 
and observed the fast-day vows. The 

King Sadhina's story. . J 

king s virtue and goodness were praised 
by the princes of Heaven who sat in the " Justice Hall " of 
Sakka. All the gods desired to see him. Accordingly, 
Sakka ordered Matali to bring Sadhina to heaven in his own 

i Jataka (Cowell's), Vol. I, pp. 31-32. In the Makhadeva Suttam (Majjhima 
Nikaya, Vol. II, pt. I, pp. 74-83) we find the same story with slight variations. 
The king of Mithila named Makhadeva was very righteous and used to perform 
his duties towards the Samanas, Brahmanas, the householders and the citizens. He 
used to observe the Sabbath on the 8th, nth and 1 5th day of the lunar month. He 
told his barber to find out grey hairs. After many years, the barber found out 
grey hairs on his head and informed him. The other details are the same. Nimi 
a later king, was like Makhadeva. Indra with gods came to him and praised him 
very much. As soon as Nimi reached the Mote-Hall of the gods, he was received 
cordially by Indra whcLg|ftf praised him in the midst of the assembly of gods. 
He was sent back to his WJ& in a celestial chariot. 

Mote-Hall of the (iculs an.l Uu- Wheel of Law. 


chariot. Matali went to the kingdom of Videha. It was 
then the day of the full moon. Matali drove his celestial 
chariot side by side with the moon's disc. All people kept 
on shouting, "See, two moons are in the sky." But the 
chariot came near them and they cried, " It is no moon but a 
chariot, a son of the gods it would seem. Surely the chariot 
is for our king, virtuous as he is." Matali went to the king's 
door and made a sign that he (the king) should ascend the 
chariot. The king after arranging for the distribution of 
alms went away with Matali. One-half of the city of gods 
and twenty -five millions of nymphs and a half of the palace 
of Vaijayanta were given by Sakka to Sadhina. The king 
lived there in happiness for seven hundred years. But 
afterwards when his merits were exhausted, dissatisfaction 
arose in him and he did not wish to remain in heaven any 
longer. The king was carried to Mithila where he distributed 
alms for seven days and on the yth day he died and was re- 
born in the Heaven of Thirty- three. 1 

Suruci, king of Mithila, had a wife named Sumedha who 

was childless. Sumedha prayed for a son. 

ci and bis consort On the first of the fifteenth day of the 

ume * month, she took the eight-fold sabbath 

vows (atthasilan!) against taking life, theft, impurity, lying, 

intoxicating liquors, eating at forbidden hours, worldly 

amusements, unguents and ornaments, and ' sat meditating 

upon the virtues in a magnificent room upon 

couch.' Sakka in the guise of a sage came ig 

i Jataka (Co well), Vol. IV, pp. 224-2; 



park and stayed at the window of the bedchamber of 
Sumedha. She on learning from her companions that 
Sakka would give the boon of a son to a virtuous woman, 
entreated him to favour her with it. Sakka asked her to 
sing her own praises in fifteen stanzas which she did to his 
satisfaction. Afterwards she was blessed with a child.' 

Jataka (Cowell), Vol. IV, pp. 198-205. 


The Mallas were a powerful people of eastern India 
at the time of Gautama, the Buddha. They are often men- 
tioned in the Buddhist and the Jaina works. 

The country of the Mallas is spoken of in many passages 
of a Buddhist work as one of the sixteen 
TheC MauS. fthe "great countries" (mahajanapadas). 1 It 
is also mentioned in the Sabhaparva of 
the Mahabharata where we are told that the second Pandava, 
Bhimasena, during his expedition to East 
India conquered the chief of the Mallas 
besides the country of Gopalakaksa and 
the Northern Kosala territories. 2 Amongst the peoples inha- 
biting the different countries in India, the Bhismaparva 
mentions the Mallas along with such East Indian peoples as 
the Angas, the Vangas, and the Kalingas. 3 

At the time we are speaking of, they appear to have 
been divided into two confederacies " one with headquarters 
at PavS, and the other with headquarters at KuSnara " as 
we see from the Mahaparinibbana Suttanta.* There is 
reason to believe that in the Buddha's time, Kusinara was 

' Anguttara Nikaya, see XLII, 4, etc., Vol. IV, p. 252. 

* Vangavasi Edition, Vol. I, p. 241 ; Sabha Chap. XXX, SI. 3. 
3 Vafigavasi Edition, Bhi^maparra, Chap. IX, SI. 46, p. 822. 

* Digha Nikaya, Vol. II, p. 165. 


not a city of the first rank like Rajagaha, VaiSali or Savatthi. 
When the I^ord expressed to Ananda his desire to die at Kusl- 
nara, Ananda said to him, " Let not the Exalted One die in 
this little wattle-and-daub town, in this town in the midst 

of the jungle, in this branch township " The fact 

that the Buddha hastened to KuSInara from Pava during his 
last illness proves that the journey did not take him long ; 
but the description in the Mahaparinibbana Suttanta does 
not enable us to make any accurate estimate of the distance 
between the two cities of the Mallas. Kuslnara has been 
identified by Cunningham with the village of Kasia in the 
east of the Gorakhpur District ' and this view has recently 
been strengthened by the fact that in the stQpa behind the 
Nirvana temple, near this village, has been discovered a 
copperplate bearing the inscription [parini] rvana-chaitya- 
tamra-patta, or the copperplate of the parinirvana-caitya. 
This identification appears to be correct, although the late 
Dr. Vincent A. Smith would prefer to place Kuslnara in Nepal, 
beyond the first range of hills. 2 Rhys Davids expresses the 
opinion that the territory of the Mallas of KuInara and 
Pava, if we may trust the Chinese pilgrims, was on the 
mountain slopes to the east of the Sakya land and to the 
north of the Vajjian confederation. But some would place 
their territory south of the Sakyas and east of the Vajjians. 8 
It is a considerable distance from Kasia in the Gorakhpur 

i Cunningham, Ancient Geography of India, pp. 430-433. 

* V. A. Smith, Early History of India, p. 159, f. n. 5 ; Pargiter, J.R.A.S. 1913* 
p. 152. 

Buddhist fndia, p. 26. 


district to Pawapuri of the Jainas in the Patna district and 
one so ill as the Buddha after his meal at the house of 
Cunda, was not likely to walk such a distance on foot. There- 
fore, Pava of the Buddhist books appears to have been 
distinct from Pawapuri and situated not very far from Kasia. 
The Cullavagga of the Vinaya Pitaka mentions another 
town of the Mallas named Anupiya 1 
^Mafto tl* e * where the Buddha resided for some time. 
This Anupiya may be the same as the 
mango-grove called Anupiya, where Gautama spent the first 
seven days after his renunciation, on his way to Rajagrilia. 1 
A fourth town of the Mallas called Uruvelakappa is 
mentioned in the Anguttara Nikaya, 
where the Blessed One stayed for some 
time. 8 In its neighbourhood, there 
appears to have existed a wide forest called Mahavana where 
the Buddha went alone for midday rest after his meal, and 
met the gahapati Tapussa. 

From the passage "The Exalted One was a K?atriya 
and so are we. We are worthy to receive a portion of the 
relics of the Exalted One. Over the remains of the Exalted 
One will we put up a sacred cairn, and in his honour will we 
celebrate a feast/ 1 it is evident that the Mallas belonged to 

i Cullavagga, VII, 1. 1, Vinaya Texts, S.B.E. pt. Ill, p. 224. 

* Tasmim eva padese Anupiyaih nama ambavanani attlii : tattha sattahaiii 
pabbajjasukhena vitinametva timsayojanaih maggain padasa gantva Rajagahtiii 
pavisi. Introduction to the Jatakas, Faiisboll, Jataka, Vol. I, pp. 65-66. 

* " Bvain me sutam. Ekaifa samayazu Bhagava ,Mallikesu Viharati UruveUkap- 
parfi nama Mallikanam nigamo." Satbyutta Nikaya, pt. V, p. 228; Anguttara 
Nikaya, Vol. IV, p. 438. 


the Ksatriya caste and in the Mahaparinibbana Suttanta l 

they are repeatedly addressed by the Buddha as well as 

M , . by Ananda and others as Vasetthas or 

M alias a Ksatrlya 

tribe-vratyas accord- Vasisthas. The Mallas of Pava are also 
ng to ami. addressed as Vasetthas by the Buddha in 

the Sahgiti Suttanta of the Digha Nikaya. 2 This shows 
that all the Mallas belonged to the VaSistha gotra like the 
Licchavis. Like the Licchavis again, the Mallas are men- 
tioned by Manu to have been born of a ksatriya mother 
and of a ksatriya father who was a vratya, that is, who 
had not gone through the ceremony of vedic initiation at 
the proper age. 

According to Kautilya, the Mallas were a safigha or 
corporation of which the members called 

Political organisation. r . ....... 

themselves rajas just as the Licchavis did 
and the commentator, Buddhaghosa, also calls them rajas. 8 
A passage in the Majjhima Nikaya, in giving an illustration 
of sahghas and ganas, mentions the Licchavis and the Mallas, 
showing that the Mallas were a typical example of a sangha- 
rajya.* The accounts given above show that the Mallas of Pava 
and Ku&inarahad their respective Santhagaras or Mote-Halls 
where all matters, both political and religious, were discussed. 
We have seen that a new council-hall called Ubbhataka had 
been built by the Mallas of Pava but was still unused when 
the Buddha visited their city in the course of his peregrina- 

i Dialogues of the Buddha, pt. II, pp. 162. ft. 
Digha Nikaya (P.T.S.), Vol. Ill, p. 209. 
3 Dialogues of the Buddha, pt. Ill, p. 201. 
* Majjhima Nikaya, Vol. I, p. 231. 


tions, and it was there that they invited him to deliver his 
discourses to them. We have also seen the Mallas assembled 
and doing business in their Mote-Hall when Ananda went to 
them with the message of the impending death of the Master 
and again, the Mallas assembled in the Santhagara to discuss 
the procedure to be followed in the disposal of the dead body, 
and afterwards to discuss the claims put forward by the 
various k^atriya kings and peoples. In the Mahaparinibbana 
Suttanta as given in the Digha Nikaya, there is the mention 
of a set of officers called Purisas. 1 among 

Malta officers. 

the Mallas of KuSmara, about whose 
functions we are quite in the dark. But Rhys Davids takes 
them to be a class of subordinate servants. 2 

It seems that the Mallas were a martial race and were 
^ m , devoted to such manly sports as wrest- 

The Mall as, a martial r 

race but not unmind- ling. 3 It is probable that the word ( Malta' 

ful of learning. r . 

denoting a wrestler by profession was 
derived from the tribal name of this brave people. But it 
must not be thought that they neglected learning. We are 
told in one of the Buddhist texts that Bandhula, a son of a 
Mallian king of KuSinara went to Taxila for education. 
There he sat at the feet of a great teacher along with Pasenadl 
of Koala and Mahali, a Licchavi prince of VaiSali. After 
completing his education he came back to his realm. 4 

The sojourn of the Mallian princes to Taxila was not alto- 
gether unfruitful because we find the Mallians discussing philo- 

J Digha Nikaya, Vol. II, p. 159. * Buddhist India, p. 21. 

Jataka (Cowell's Ed.) Vol. II, p. 65. 

* Faiisboll, Dbammapada (old edition), p. 211. 


sophy . Serious philosophical problems of sati, samadhi, viriya, 
saddha,dukkha, etc., did not escape their 

Philosophical specula- attention as may be seen f rom fa follow- 
ing incident : Bhadragakogamani, an 
upasaka, went to the Buddha and enquired of the cause of the 
arising of suffering and of the overcoming of suffering. The 
Buddha replied that he (Bhadragako) did not believe that 
the enquiry could be answered by exemplifications from past 
and future occurrences. So the Buddha wanted to instruct 
him about it by means of the present happenings. The Lord 
said, " Is there any one in Uruvelakappa who if killed or im- 
prisoned or injured or blamed produces trouble in your mind ?' ' 
Gamani replied in the affirmative. The Buddha said, "What 
is the cause of it ? There must be some one here against 
whom if something be performed, the performance of that 
act surely produces trouble in your mind." The Lord added, 
( ' The reason of this is that you have attachment towards that 
one and you have not attachment towards the other. Attach- 
ment is not the effect of this life but of the past life." The 
Buddha cleared his doubts as to his existence in the past. 
He further said, " There is attachment towards mother for the 
simple reason that he is born in her womb and for this he is 
troubled over her disease and death and thereby it is proved 
that there is a connection between this life and the next. 
Attachment is the root of our trouble and the uprooting of 
it is the uprooting of suffering." 1 

Living among the Mallas in Uruvelakappa, he told the 

' Sathyutta Nikaya, pt. IV, pp. 327 foil. 


Bhikkhus that the four indriyani (saddha, viriya, sati and 
samadhi) can be fully realised by the acquisition of sublime 
knowledge. 1 

Shortly before the passing away of the Lord while dwell- 
ing in the Sala-grove of the Mallas at Kusinara, he advised 
the Bhikkhus, among whom there must have been not a few 
Mallians, who were present, to bear in mind the following 
instruction, being ardent and strenuous: " Vayadhamma 
samkhara." * (All samkharas are subject to decay.) 

Before the advent of Jainism and Buddhism, the Mallas 
seem to have been caitya-worshippers 

Early religion. ' T . , . 

like their neighbours, the Licchavis. 

One of their shrines called Makuta Bandhana, to the east of 
Kusinara, is mentioned in connection with the death of the 
Buddha where his dead body was carried for cremation. 
There is, however, no indication of the kind of worship that 
was performed at this place. 

Jainism found many followers among the Mallas as 

among many other races of Eastern 

India. The accounts we get in the Bud- 
dhist Literature of the schism that appeared in the Jairia 
Church after the death of Mahavira amply prove this. At 
Pava the followers of Nigantha Nataputta were divided after 
the death of their great Tirthankara. We find that there 
were both ascetics and lay devotees among these Jains for 
we read that on account of the disputations among the asce- 
tics, " even the lay disciples of the white robe, who followed 

Saifcyutta Nikaya pt. V, pp. 228-229 * Saiiiyutta N. pt. I, p. i 8. 


Nataputta, showed themselves shocked, repelled and indig- 
nant at the Niganthas. " ' These lay Jainas appear form this 
passage to have been draped in white robes, just as the 
svetambaras are at the present day. The Buddha as well as 
Sariputta, one of the principal disciples, seems to have taken 
advantage of the schism that appears to have overtaken the 
Jaina church on the death of their founder for the propagation 
of the rival faith. In the Pasadika Suttanta, we find that it 
is Cunda, the novice of Pava, who brings the news of the 
death of the great Tlrthankara, Mahavlra, to Ananda at 
Samagama in the Malla country and the latter at once saw 
the importance of the event and said, " Friend Cunda, this is 
a worthy subject to bring before the Exalted One. Let's 
go to him and tell him about it." They hastened to the 
Buddha who delivered a long discourse. 2 

Buddhism appears to have attracted many followers 
among the Mallas, some of whom like the 

Buddhism . 

venerable Dabba the Mallian, attained 
a high and respectable position among the brethren. We 
read in the Cullavagga, 3 "Now at that time the venerable 
Dabba the Mallian, who had realised Arhatship when he was 
seven years old, had entered into possession of every (spiritual 
gift) which can be acquired by a disciple ; there was nothing 
left that he ought still to do, nothing left that he ought to 
gather up of the fruit of his past labour." On account of 
his virtues, he was appointed, after due election by the 

* Dialogues of the Buddha, pt. C II, p. 203. 

* Dialogues of the Buddha, pt. Ill, p. 112. Vinaya Texts, pt. Ill, p. 4. foil. 


Buddhist sangha, a regulator of lodging places and appor- 
tioner of rations. He was so successful in the discharge 
of these duties which required a great deal of patience and 
tact that he was considered by the sangha to be possessed 
of miraculous powers. But there were some, like the followers 
of Metteya and Bhummajaka, who became envious and set 
the bhikkhuni Mettiya and Vaddha, the Licchavi, to bring 
about his fall and expulsion from the sangha, but their evil 
intentions were discovered and the venerable Dabba the 
Mallian was exculpated from the charges brought against him. 

Khandasumana, born in the family of a Malla raja 
at Pava, entered the order and acquired six-fold Abhinna. 1 

Once Buddha was in the country of the Mallas named 
Uruvelakappa. One day he asked Ananda to stay there 
and himself left for Mahavana to spend the day. While 
Ananda was staying there, a householder named Tapussa, 
probably a Mallian, came to him and told him that he was 
so much absorbed in the enjoyment of sensual pleasures 
that he was never averse to worldly life. He (the house- 
holder) further told him that even a young man was satisfied 
with the religion and teachings of the Lord. He asked him 
as to the cause of it. Ananda took him to the Buddha 
while he was spending the day at Mahavana. Ananda 
having informed the Buddha, the Master said that such a 
state of things happened with him also before attaining 
enlightenment. He who has not seen and thought of the 
evil effect of sensual pleasures and he who has not thought 

i Psalms of the Brethren, p- 90. 


of the fruition of emancipation cannot bend his mind towards 
emancipation. This is the cause of not being able to make 
oneself averse to worldly life. The Master continued that 
when he succeeded in seeing and thinking of the evil effect 
of sensual pleasures and of the fruition of emancipation, 
he realised the first stage of meditation. When he realised 
the first stage, the thinking of enjoyment of sensual 
pleasures became a malady to him ; when he realised the 
second stage, the first stage appeared trifling to him and so 
on up to the fourth stage. When he realised all the jhanas 
together with the ayatanas, his mind was bent upon nirvana. 
Because of his realising the jhanas together with the 
ayatanas and the nirvana and because of his thwarting 
the enjoyment of sensual pleasures, he was successful in 
being foremost in the Deva, Brahma and the Mara worlds, 
amongst the Samanas and the Brahmanas. 1 

Roja, a Mallian, asked Ananda whether the Buddha 
would accept potherbs and meal from his hands. According- 
ly, Ananda asked the Lord whether presents would be 
acceptable. The Lord replied in the affirmative. When 
Roja actually took those presents to him, the Lord asked 
him to hand them over to the bhikkhus. He did so and 
the bhikkhus were satisfied with them. Roja then sat on 
one side. When the Blessed One finished his meal, he ' taught, 
and incited, and conversed, and gladdened ' him 'with religious 
discourse. 1 At last Roja rose from his seat and departed. 1 

l Aftguttara Nikaya, Vol. IV, pp. 438-448. 

* Vinaya Tex pt. II, S.B.E., Vol. XVII, p. 139. 


Siha was born in the country of the Mallas in the family 
of a raja. As soon as he saw the Buddha, he saluted him 
and being attracted, he sat on one side. The Buddha 
noticing the trend of his thought, taught him the Norm. 
He entered the Buddhist order and spent his days in the 
forest but he could not practise concentration of mind. 
Seeing this, the Master advised him to cherish the good 
Norm within himself and to swiftly renounce the 'piled up 
lease of birth/ This advice of the Lord had a beneficial 
effect on him and he was able to develop insight and acquire 
saintship. 1 

The respect and veneration with which the Mallas looked 
upon the Buddha will appear from their solicitude for him 
when his last moment was approaching and also from the 
great liberality and magnificence with which they cremated 
the corpse and the care and consideration with which they 
treated the remains. 

It is remarkable that the Malla people were devotedly 
attached to the great founders of Jainism 
and Buddhism. We are informed by 
the Kalpa Sfltra that to mark the pas- 
sing away of the Great Jlna, nine Mallakis or Malla chiefs 
were among those that instituted an illumination on the day 
of the new moon, saying, " Since the light of intelligence is 
gone, let us make an illumination of material matter/ * 
The Sanglti Suttanta of the Digha Nikaya informs us that 

l Psalms of the Brethren, p. 80. 

* Jaina Sutras, ptl, S.B.E., XXH, p. 266. " JaiiirayauirficaruHii samapebhaga- 
am Mahavire javasabbadukkhappahine tamrayanimcariarfi navamallai attharasavi- 


the Buddha, accompanied by five hundred followers, was 
travelling in the Malla country and came to Pava, the Malla 
capital. l There he dwelt in the Mango-grove of Cunda, the 
smith. Then a new Mote-Hall of the Pava Mallas named 
Ubbhataka had just been built and had not been occupied 
by anybody. They invited the Buddha to this freshly 
built council-hall saying, "Let Lord, the Exalted One, be 
the first to make use of it. That it has first been used by 
the Exalted One will be for the lasting good and happiness 
of the Pava Mallas." At their request, the Buddha gave a 
discourse on his doctrine to the Mallas of Pava till late hours 

of the night " instructing, enlightening, 
Budd hto dti"? e D ^citing and inspiring them. 1 ' They 

then went away and the Master 'laid 
himself down to rest. ' 

It was also at this Mallian city of Pava that the Buddha 
ate his last meal at the house of Cunda, the smith (kutnara- 
putta), and he was attacked with dysentery. Being ill the 

Exalted One went to the rival Mallian 
parioirvava. c ity of Ku&nara. When he felt that the 
last moment was fast approaching, he sent Ananda with a 
message to the Mallas of Ku&inara who had then assembled 
in their Santhagara or Mote-hall for some public affair. On 
receipt of the news, they flocked to the Sala grove with their 
youngmen, girls and wives, ' being grieved and sad and 
afflicted at heart.' The venerable Ananda caused them ' to 

evarabhayatu Posahavavasath patthavaiih Sugaesebhavujjoyoe 
davujjoytoh ktoitssimo." (Kalpa sutra, Dhanapat Singha's edition, p. 77.) 
1 Dialogues of the Buddha, pt. Ill, p. 201. 


stand in groups, each family in a group ' and presented them 
to the Blessed One, saying, "Lord, a Malla of such and such 
a name with his children, his wives, his retinue and his friends 
humbly bows down at your feet." In this way he presented 
them all to him. 1 Then after his last exhortations to the 
assembled brethren to work out their salvation with diligence, 
he entered into parinirvana. 

They then met together in their council-hall to devise 
some means of honouring the earthly 
rema j ns o f y^ L or( j j n a su it a ble manner 

and carried them with music to the shrine 
of the Mallas, called the Makuta-bandhana, to the east of 
their city and they treated the remains of the Tathagata as 
they would treat the remains of a king of kings (cakravartti- 
raja).* When at last the cremation was over, they put out 
the funeral pyre with water scented with all sorts of per- 
fumes and collected the bones which they placed in their 
Mote-hall, surrounding them ' with a lattice work of spears 
and with a rampart of bows.' 8 

Among the various clans that pressed their claims for 
a share of the remains, were the Mallas of Pava for the reason 
that they had a separate principality. They sent a messenger 
to the Mallas of Kuinara, saying : f ' The Exalted One was 
a ksatriya and so are we. We are worthy to receive a portion 
of the relics of the Exalted One. Over the remains of the 
Exalted One will we put up a sacred cairn, and in his honour, 

1 Dialogues of the Buddha, II, pp. 162-164. 

a Ibid, p. 182. 3 Ibid, pp. 186-187. 


will we celebrate a feast. 1 ' Both the Mallas of Pava and 
stupas over the Bud- Ku&nSra erected stflpas over their re 
dha'B relics. pective shares and celebrated feasts. 

The Mallas appear to have been usually on friendly 
terms with their neighbours, the Licchavis, with whom they 
had many ties of kinship, though, as was quite inevitable, 
there were occasional rivalries between 
! the two states as the stol T of Bandhula 

federate clansthe shows. One day Bandhula, a Mallian 

Mallas and the Liccha- , , . . ... 

vis. general, drove his chariot to Vaigali, the 

capital of the Liccha vis, passed the thres- 
hold of Mahali, a Licchavi, with his wife Mallika who wanted 
to go and bathe and drink water of the tank where the 
members of the king's families used to get water for the 
ceremonial sprinkling. Mahali heard the clattering noise 
(rattling sounds) of the chariot and told the Licchavis of his 
apprehension of danger. The Licchavis guarded the tank 
well, spreading an iron net over it. The Mallian general came 
down from his chariot, put the guards to flight by means of 
his sword and burst through the iron network and in the 
tank bathed his wife and gave her water to drink; he then 
left the place with his wife in the chariot. The guards nar- 
rated the event to the Licchavis. The kings of the Licchavis 
being angry informed Mahali of it. Mahali asked them not to 
go further but to return. Notwithstanding his advice, five 
hundred kings mounting their chariots set out to capture 
Bandhula who ( sped a shaft and it cleft the heads of all the 
chariots and passed right through the five hundred kings.' 
Being wounded they followed him. He stopped his chariot 


and said, "I cannot fight with the dead." He then asked 
them to loosen the girdle of the first man, who, thereupon, 
fell dead before they could unfasten it. They were asked to 
go back to their homes and were ordered to instruct their 
wives and children to make necessary arrangements for their 
affairs and then drop their armours. They did so and all of 
them became lifeless. 1 

The Mallas who played an important part in the 
political and religious history of ancient 
independence crushed j dia an( j w ho. a s we have seen before, 

dominions annexed. ' . 

had an independent oligarchical republic, 
appear to have lost their independence at the hands of the 
ambitious monarch of Magadha, Ajatasatru and their domi- 
nions were annexed to the empire gradually growing up in 
Magadha. 2 

D ham ma pada, Fausboll (old Ed.), pp. 218-220. 

1). R. Bbaudarkar, Carmichael Lectures, 1918, p. 79. 



The Sakyas have acquired a very great importance in 
Indian history owing to the Buddha 

Importance* the haying ^^ bom ^^ ^^ Brforc 

the birth of the founder of Buddhism, 
they were comparatively little known, yet in the rugged fast- 
ness of the lower Himalayas, the Sakyas had built up a 
remarkable though not a very powerful principality at the 
time the great teacher was born. When there was a discus- 
sion, as the Lalitavistara ' tells us, among the Devaputras in 
the Tusita heaven, as to which of the great royal families of 
India, the Bodhisattva should honour with his birth, no one 
mentioned the Sakyas. They pondered over the merits of 
all the sixteen Mahajanapadas in the whole of Jainbudvlpa 
and analysed the claims of all the royal families that held up 
their heads high among the ksatriyas of India at the time, but 
they found them all stained with one black spot or another. 
Among all these prominent kingly families of India, the 
Sakyas are not mentioned. 4 Being at a loss to find out a 
people worthy of claiming him as their congener, the Deva- 
putras had at last recourse to the Bodhisattva himself and 

i Itefmaim, Lalitavistara, pp. 20-22. 

a Te Bodhisattva Devaputtrasca sarvasmiiii Jambudvipe sopisajanapadesu y;mi 
kaniciduccoccani rajakulani tani sarvani vyavalokayantah (tani) sarvani sadosanya- 
draksuh." (Lalitavistara, edited by 1/efmann, pp. 22-23.) 


when at last, the 6akyas were chosen as the fortunate 
recipients of that great honour, it was more on account of their 
purity and similar qualities, than any predominant political 
position. 1 

The Sakyas of Kapilavastu claimed to be ksatriyas. 

As soon as they heard the news of the 
Accoi Sri|in f . thcir passing away of the Lord, they demanded 

a portion of the relics of the Buddha, 
saying, "Bhagava amliakaiii nati-scttho." (The Blessed 
One was the chief of our kinsmen.) While all the other 
ksatriya clans that claimed a portion of the ashes of the great 
teacher, did so on the basis of their belonging to the same 
caste ('Bhagava pi khattiyo, may am pi kliattiya'), in the 
case of the 6akyas, it was founded upon a closer relationship, 
that of consanguinity. The origin of the 6akyas is traced 

back to King Okkaka, i.e., Iksvaku. It 
Inthe vj S iSni! 6ala " is stated in thc Sumangalavilasini that 

King Okkaka had five queens. By the 
chief queen, he had four sons and five daughters. After Iho 
death of the chief queen, the king married another young lady 
who extorted from him the promise to place her son upon 
the throne. The king thereupon requested his sons to leave 
the kingdom. The princes accordingly left the kingdom 
accompanied by their sisters and going to a forest near 
the Himalayas, they began to search for a site for building a 
city. In course of their search, they met the sage Kapila 
who said that they should build a town in the place where he 

Ialitavistara, edited by Lefmonn, pp. 2^-27. 
Digha Nikaya (P.T.S), Vol. II, p. 165. 


(the sage) lived. The princes built the town and named 
it Kapilavatthu (Kapilavastu). In course of time, the four 
brothers married the four sisters, excepting the eldest one 
and they came to be known as the Sakyas. (Sumangalavi- 
lasini, pt. I, pp. 258-260.) The only grain of fact hidden in 
this fanciful story of the origin of the Sakyas seems to be that 
there was a tradition which traced their descent from 
King Okkaka or Iksvaku. Buddhaghosa in his great com- 
mentaries, though a very reliable guide as regards exposition 
and exegesis and the unravelling of metaphysical tangles, 
becomes quite the reverse when any point of history or 
tradition comes up. Here he accepts the wildest theories and 
takes as gospel truth even the most improbable stories. 
Sister-marriage was not in vogue in ancient India even in the 
earliest times of which we have any record, as the story 
of Yama and Yami in the Rigveda amply demonstrates. It 
was a revolting idea to the Indians from the time of the 
Rigveda downwards. Yet we see that Buddhaghosa in the 
case of the Licchavis and again here in that of the Sakyas, 
tries to explain the origin by sister-marriage. Perhaps 
Buddhaghosa was actuated by the idea of purity of birth by 
a union between brothers and sisters as in the case of the 
Pharaohs of Egypt. The great Ceylonese chronicle, the 
Mahavamsa, also traces the origin of the Sakyas to the same 
king Okkaka and goes further back to Mahasammata of the 
same dynasty. We give here in full the geneology as 

given in the Mahavamsa in the first 
In the Mahavamsa. _ ^ 

twenty-four verses of Chapter II : 
" Sprung of the race of king Mahasammata was the Great 

THE &AKYAS jfccj 

Sage. For in the beginning of this age of the world there 
was a king named Mahasammata, and (the kings) Roja and 
Vararoja, and the two Kalyanakas, Uposatha and Mandhatar 
and the two, Caraka and Upacara, and Cetiya and Mucala 
and he who bore the name Mahatnucala, Mucalinda and 
Sagara and he who bore the name Sagaradeva ; Bharata and 
Anglrasa and Ruci and also Suruci, Patapa and Mahapatapa 
and the two Panadas likewise, Sudassana and Neru, two and 
two; also Actinia. His sons and grandsons, these twenty- 
eight princes whose lifetime was immeasurably (long), dwelt 
in Kusavati, Rajagaha and Mithila. Then followed a 
hundred kings, and (then) fifty-six, and (then) sixty, eighty- 
four thousand, and then further thirty-six, thirty-two, 
twenty-eight, then further twenty-eight, eighteen, seventeen, 
fifteen, fourteen; nine, seven, twelve, then further twenty- 
five; and (again) twenty-five, twelve and (again) twelve, 
and yet again nine and eighty-four thousand with Makhadeva 
coming at the head, and (once more) eighty-four thousand 
with Kalarajanaka at the head and sixteen even unto 
Okkaka; these descendants (of Mahasammata) reigned in 
groups in their due order, each one in his capital. The 
Prince Okkamukha was Okkaka' s eldest son; Nipuna, 
Candirna, Candamukha and Sivisariijaya, the great King 
Vessantara, Jali, and Slhavahana and Sihassara : these were 
his sons and grandsons. Eighty-two thousand in number 
were the royal sons and grandsons of King Sihassara; 
Jayasena was the last of them. They are known as the 
Sakya kings of Kapilavatthu. The great King Sihahanu 
was Jayasena' s son and Jayasena 1 s daughter was Yasodhara. 


In Devadaha there was a prince named Devadahasakka, 
Afijana and Kaccana were his two children. Kaccana was 
the first consort of Sihahanu but the Sakka An j ana's queen 
was Yasodhara. Afijana had two daughters, Maya and 
Pajapati, and also two sons, Dandapani and the Sakiya 
Suppabuddha. But Sihahanu had five sons and two 
daughters: Suddhodana, Dhotodana, Sakka , Sukka , 
and Amitodana, and Amita and Pamita ; these were the five 
sons and two daughters. The royal consort of the Sakka 
Suppabuddha was Amita; she had two children: Bhadda- 
kaccana and Devadatta. Maya and Pajapati were Suddho- 
dana's queens, and the son of the great King Suddhodana 
and of Maya was our Conqueror. 

Of this race of Mahasammata, thus succeeding, was 
born, in unbroken line, the Great Sage, he who stands at the 
head of all men of lordly birth. The consort of the prince 
Siddhattha, the Bodhisatta, was Bhaddakaccana; her son 
was Rahula." l (The Mahavamsa, Tr., Chap. II., pp. 10-12.) 

' Mahasammatarajassa vamsajo hi inahainuni 
Kappa dismim hi rajasi Mahasammatanamako, 
Rojo ca Vararojo ca tatha Kalya^aka duve, 
Uposatho ca Mandhata Carakopacara duve, 
Cetiyo Mucalo ceva Mahamucalanamako, 
Mucalindo Sagaro ceva Sagaradevauamako, 
Bharato Aflgiraso ceva Ruci ca Suruci pi ca, 
Patapo Mahapatapo Panada ca tatha duve, 
Sudassana ca Neru ca tatha eva duve duve 
Accima cati raj a no tassa puttapaputtaka 
Asamkheyyuyuka ete attbavisati bhumipa 
Kusavatim Rajagaharii Mithilarfi capi avasuxu. 
Tato sataiii ca rajano chapannasa ca satt^i ca 
Caturasiti sahassani chattinisa ca tato pare, 


There can be no doubt that King Okkaka in this geneo- 
logy is none other than Iksvaku of the so-called solar dynasty 

dvattimsa atthavisam ca dvnvlsati tato pare 
attharasa sattarasa pannarasa catuddasa 
nava satta dviidasf.ii ca paucavisa tato pare, 
paiicavisaiii dvadasaiii ca dvadasam ca navapi CM, 
caturaslti sahassfmi Makhadevadika pi ca 
caturaslti sahassaui Kalurajanakadayo, 
solasa yava Okkaka paputtu rasito ime 
visuiii visuiii pure rajjarii kamato anusasisuin. 
Okkatnukho jetlhaputto Okkakassfisi bhtipali, 
Nipuno Candima Candamukho ca Sivisathjayo 
\ r essantaro tnaharaja Jail ca Sihavahano 
Sihassaro ca iccete tassa puttapaputtaka. 
Dve asiti sahassani Slhassarassa rajino 
puttapaputtarajauo, Jayaseno tadautimo. 
F/te Kapilavatthusmim Sakyarajati vissutii. 
Sihahauu maharaja Jayasenassa atrajo, 
Jayasenassa dblta ca namenasi Yusodharu. 
Devadahe Devadahasakko riamasi bhupati, 
Afijano catha Kaccana asutii tassa suta duve. 
Mahesi casi Kaccana ranilo Sihahanussa sa , 
a si Afijanasakkassa mahes! sa Yasodhara. 
Afljanassa duve dhita Maya catha PajapatI 
putta duve Dandapani Suppabuddho ca Sakiyo. 
Pafica putta duve dhita asuni Sihahanussa tu : 
Suddhodano Dhotodano Sakkasukkamitodano. 
Amita Pamita cati, ime paucaima duve. 
Suppabuddhassa Sakkassa mahesi Amita abu, 
Tassasuiii Bhaddakaccana Devadatto duve suta. 
Maya Pajapati ceva Suddhodanamahesiyo, 
Suddhodanamaharaufio putto Mayaya no jinu. 
Mahasammatavamsamhi asambhinne mahamuni 
evarii pavatte samjato Sabbakhattiyamuddhani. 
Siddhatthassa Kumarassa bodhisattassa sa aau 
mahesi Bhaddakaccana, putto tassa si Rahulo." 
(Mabavariisa, Edited by W. Geiger, pp. 12-14.) 


of the Puranas. Comparing the names with those in the 
Pauranic list we find that the lists do not 

In the Vifnu Purana* 

agree in every detail, yet there is an 
agreement with regard to some of the more prominent names. 
Thus, for example, in the long history of the solar dynasty 
given in the Visnupurana, pt. iv., we find many of the names 
in the Mahavamsa list, like Mandhata (Mandhata Mv) 
Sagara (Sagara Mv) etc. The Visnupurana states that King 
Brhadvala of this dynasty was killed in the Kuruksetra war, 1 
and next proceeds to trace the descent of King Sakya from 
this Brhadvala as given below : 

" I will now repeat to you the future princes of the 
family of Ikshwaku. The son of Brihadvala will be Brihat- 
kshana ; his son will be Urukshepa ; his son will be Vatsa ; 
his son will be Vatsavyuha ; his son will be Prativyoma ; 
his son will be Divakara ; his son will be Sahadeva ; his son 
will be Brihadaswa ; his son will be Bhanuratha ; his son 
will be Supratika ; his son will be Marudeva ; his son will be 
Sunakshatra ; his son will be Kimnara ; his son will be 
Antariksha ; his son willbe Suvarna ; his son will be Amritajit ; 
his son will be Brihadraja ; his son will be Dharmin ; his son 
will be Kritanjaya ; his son will be Rananjaya ; his son will be 
Sanjaya ; his son will be Sakya ; his son will be Suddhodana ; 
his son will be Ratula ; his son will be Prasenajit ; his son 
will be Kshudraka ; his son will be Kundaka ; his son will be 
Suratha ; his son will be Sumitra. These are the kings of the 
family of Ikshwaku, descended from Brihadvala. This 

t Vi?npurana, pt. IV., Chap. IV, Verse, 4*. 


commemorative verse is current concerning them : ' The 
race of the descendants of Ikshwaku will terminate with 
Sumitra ; it will end, in the Kali age, with him/ '" 

The source of the account given in the Mahavamsa 

and the Sumaftgalavilasinl is not, however, the Puranas but 

such ancient Buddhistical works as the 

In the Mahavastu. .. 

Mahavastu. This latter work gives a 
detailed account of the foundation of Kapilavastu and the 
settlement of the 6akyas there. The marriage of sisters is 
given there and the Sakya family is traced there to Maha- 
sammata, as in the Mahavamsa and the names of the kings 
that succeeded him, mostly agree in the two accounts, as will 
be seen from the Mahavastu, which tells us that Kalyana 
was the son of King Sammata. Kalyana begot Rava. 
Rava begot Uposadha who begot Mandhata. His sons, 
grandsons and all his descendants were kings by thousands. 
Later on Sujata became king of the Iksvakus in the city of 
Saketa. The Iksvaku King Sujata had five sons, Opura, 
Nipura, Karandaka, Ulkamukha and Hastikasir?a and he 
had five daughters, Suddha, Vimala, Vjjita, Jala and Jali. 
Sujata had another son Jenta by name born of a concubine. 
Jenta's mother was called Jent! who gave all her services to 
Sujata who became pleased with her. Jenti was promised a 
boon by the king who told her, " Jenti, I will offer you a 
boon, whatever boon you pray for, I will grant it." She then 
began to speak, "Well, I shall first consult my parents and 
then I shall pray for a boon to your lordship." Her parents 

1 Wilson, Vi9upurana, Vol. IV, Chapter XXII, pp. 167-17::. 


were thus informed, " The king has promised a boon. Then 
what boon is proper for me, which I shall pray for before the 
king." They then began to mutter whatever opinion they 
held, " Ask for an excellent village/ 1 There was one wander- 
ing nun present at that time, who was well-versed, skilled 
and intelligent. She said, " well Jenti, you are the daughter 
of a concubine. Your son will not inherit any property 
of his father, what to speak of a kingdom. These five princes 
are sons of a ksatriya daughter. They will inherit their 
paternal kingdom as well as other things. You are promised 
a boon by the king. King Sujata is a man of word. You 
ask the king for this boon : After banishing these five 
princes, please appoint my son Jcnta as royal successor. 
After your death, my son will be the king of the great city 
of Saketa. O king, give me this boon." Hearing this, 
Sujata became much agitated in mind owing to the affection 
for those princes nor was he able to do anything but grant 
the boon. The king said to Jenti, "All right, let this boon 
be given." The gift of the boon that with the exile of the 
princes, the prince Jenta, son of the concubine, was to be 
installed as heir -apparent, was heard by the people of 
towns and villages. Then the people appreciating the 
noble qualities of the princes became alarmed and said, 
"Wherever the princes will go, we shall follow them." It 
come to the ears of King Sujata that many people of Saketa 
were going to the place of exile along with the princes. He 
then issued the following proclamation : "Whoever will go 
to the place of exile along with the princes, all the works done 
by him will be considered as works performed by the state and 


will be paid for from the royal treasury. Those whose works 
are performed with the help of elephants, horses, chariots, 
carriages, palanquins or cars or oxen or buffaloes or goats 
or sheep, etc., will be considered as works done by the state 
and will be paid for by the royal treasury. For those who are 
going to the exile along with the princes, the royal treasury 
is open to them under royal orders, everybody gets what he 
asks for." Now these princes along with many thousands of 
citizens, with a vast crowd, with thousands of chariots and 
carriages, went out of the city of Saketa towards the north. 
They were cordially received by the king of Kasi-KoSala. 
The princes were virtuous, well-reputed, peaceful and good 
companions. All the people of Kasi-Kosala were at heart 
pleased with them. The people of Kal-Kosala said thus, 
" these princes, descendants of Kalyana are religious. The 
king of Saketa is true to the description given by the Buddha 
to Indra." The king of Kasi-Kosala, however, became 
envious and drove out the princes from his kingdom. At 
the foot of the Himalayas there lived a sage Kapila, who was 
possessed of five kinds of supernatural knowledge and had 
attained the four kinds of meditation. He was strong and 
noble in mind. His hermitage was vast and was charming. 
It had fruits and flowers and it was adorned with good many 
plants and with a dense forest. The princes went to the 
dense forest and began to live there. Traders who went 
there came to the localities of KaSi and KoSala. 

The traders when asked by the people as to whence they 
came, replied that they had come from , a certain part 
of the forest called Sskotavana. The people of Saketa as 


well as the traders of KoSala visited the Sakotavana. Lest 
there be a defect in their clan (or impurity in their blood) 
they accepted their brides from among the sisters by the 
same mother. King Sujata asked the ministers thus, " where 
do the princes live ? " They replied, " They live in the 
Sakotavana at the foot of the Himalayas." Then the 
king asked the ministers, " Wherefrom they brought their 
wives ? " They replied, " It was heard that for fear of a 
mixture of blood in them, they accepted their wives from 
among their own sisters by the same mother, so that there 
may not be any spoliation in their own race." The purohitas 
and the learned brahmins were then asked by King 
Sujata whether such a custom was permissible. They 
replied, "Yes, O king, that can be done, laws permit it." 
Hearing this, the king being pleased said, " Still they are 
known as the Sakyas and along with the other Sakyas they 
are known as such." Then it came to the mind of the 
princes : ( ' Shall we only live in the Sakotavana. Many people 
have come here. Let us build a town," The princes then 
went to the sage Kapila. Saluting him they said, " If you, 
Kapila, permit it, then we shall build a city here to be called 
after your name." The sage replied, " I can permit it if you 
make this hermitage a royal residence and then build a city." 
The princes promised to carry out his wishes. The hermitage 
was then given to them by the sage. The princes built a 
city after making the hermitage of the sage a royal residence. 
As the hermitage was given by Kapila the sage, it was known 
by the name of Kapilavastu which was prosperous, wealthy, 
peaceful, where alms were easily obtainable, where many 


people lived with their own families, being happy. The 
people of Kapilavastu were fond of trade and commerce. 
They were social and took part in festivities. 

Of those five princes, Opura, Nipura, Karandaka, 
Ulkamukha, Hastikaslrsa, Opura was the eldest prince. 
He was elected King of Kapilavastu. Nipura was the son ' 
of King Opura and Karandaka was the son l of King Nipura, 
Ulkamukha was the sou of King Karandaka, Hastika&rsa 
was the son ' of Ulkamukha, Sinhahanu was the son of Hasti- 
kaslrsa. King Sinhahanu had four sons: Suddhodana, 
Dlioutodana, Suklodana, Amritodana and a daughter named 
Amita (Mahavastu, edited by Senart, Vol. I, pp. 348-52). 

The story given in the Mahavastu and the Sumangala- 
vilasini about the origin of the Sakyas by sister-marriage is 
referred to in the introduction to the Kunala Jataka. Here 
we observe that with regard to the Sakyas, the story of 
their origin exactly tallies with that in the Mahavastu, but 
there is some difference in connection with the Koliyas. 
While the Mahavastu says that they resided in a cave of a 
hill, the Jataka story relates that they received the name 
Koliya for having resided in the hollow of a Koll or jujube 
tree. As the story has a bearing on the question of origin of 
the two important tribes, we make an extract from it. There 
was a quarrel between the 6akya and Koliya cultivators 

' It will be observed that Opura, Nipura, Karandaka. Ulkamukha and 
Hastikasirsa are represented as sons of King Sujata in a former passage of the 
Mahavastu. Here the relationship between each prince and the one mentioned 
next is represented as that of father and son. We do not vouch for the historical 
accuracv of the Mahavastu. 


who lived on opposite sides of the river Rohini with regard 
to the right of water of the stream for use in irrigation. 
When words ran high they quarrelled. 1 The full description 
of the quarrel has been given in my account of the Koliyas. 

The Sakyas are called in the Mahavastu adityavandhtts * 
or people kin to the sun. This refers to their descent from the 
Solar dynasty to which the Iksvakus belonged. The Maha- 
vastu also speaks of King 6uddhodana as born in the Iksvaku 
family. 3 Another passage in the same work speaks of the 
Buddha as a Ksatriya of the Adityagotra and of the Iksvaku- 
kula, that is, born in the family of the Iksvakus who derived 
their descent from the sun.* The Lalitavistara also speaks 
of the Buddha as born in the royal family of Iksvaku (Lalita- 
vistara, p. 112). 

The Sakyas were Ksatriyas of the Gotama gotra as is 
seen from the fact that the Buddha had the surname Gotama, 
while the Licchavis and Mallas who also belonged to the 
same race bore the gotra name of Vasistha, and in the Pali 
books while the latter are addressed as Vasetthas, the Buddha 
is addressed as Gotama, as in a formal conversation, people 
addressed each other by their gotra or family names in those 

l Jutaka, Vol, V, p. 219. 

* " Yo so vadityavandhunani akyanatii paramomunih." (Mahavastu, II, p. 303.) 

* " &uddhodanassa raguo Iksvakujassa putro Mayuya Sakyakulanandijanano 
sakyobhut6akyasukuinaro." (Mahavastu, III, p. 247.) 

* " Adityagotra tejasvi IksvaknkiiJasanibhavo jatitah ksatriyo agro Bhagavaiii 
agrapudgalo." (Ibid, III, p. 246.) 

Dr. H. C. Ray Chaudhuri points out (Political History of Ancient India, p, 48) 
that in the Sutta-Nipata, the Buddha refers to his people as '* Adiccas by family, 
Sakiyas by birth." 


days. We have shown elsewhere that the gotra of a Ksatriya 
family was derived from the gotra name of the purohita or the 
family priest. This makes it evident that in an early age 
the Sakyas had adopted the Gotamas as their purohita. 

The Gotama-gotra is described in the Pali books as 
occupying a very high position among the gotras, no doubt 
from its association with the founder of Buddhism: for 
example, the Suttavibhanga 1 mentions the Gotamagotta as 
an example of a high gotra. 

We have seen how the Mahavastu accounts for the name 
of the capital of the Sakyas : ' ' Because 

the Rsi Kapila, therefore it acquired the 
appellation of Kapilavastu.' ' thus says the Mahavastu. But 
the name is also spelt otherwise. It is also called Kapila- 
vastu, that is, the vastu or place of residence of the Sage- 
Kapila. The Lalitavistara calls it also Kapilavastu and 
sometimes Kapilapura (p. 243) or Kapilahvayapura (p. 28, etc. j 
and these names are also found in the Mahavastu (Vol. II, 
p. ii, line 3). The Divyavadana also connects Kapilavastu 
with the Sage Kapila. Thus we read, "A prince is born 
among the Sakyas on the slope of the Himalayas, on the bank 
of the river Bhaglrathi not far from the hermitage of the Rsi 
Kapila,"* and generally the town is spoken of as Kapilavastu 
but sometimes it is referred to as Kapilavastu* also. In the 
Buddhacarita also the city is described as Kapilasyavastu. 6 

1 Suttavibhanga, Pacittiya II, 2, Vinaya-Pitaka, Oldcaberg, Vo'. IV, p. 6. 

2 Divyavadana, p. 548, lines 20-22. * Ibid, pp. 90, 390. 

* Ibid, p. 67. b Buddhacarita, Book I, Verse 2. 


Kapilavastu is said to have been surrounded by seven 
walls according to the Mahavastu (Vol. II, p. 75). 

A clue to the identification of Kapilavastu is furnished 
by the discovery of the famous Rummindei Pillar which 
marks the site of the ancient Lumbini garden, the traditional 
scene of Sakyamuni's birth. Dr. Smith is inclined to identify 
the Sakya capital which lay not far from the lyumbinigrama 
with Pipprawa in the north of the Basti district on the 
Nepalese frontier. 

The celebrated Chinese pilgrim, Fa-Hien, who visited 
India early in the fifth century A.D., says that white ele- 
phants and lions infested the neighbourhood of Kapilavastu, 
against which the people had to be on their guard. 1 The 
country was thinly populated. He noticed towers at Kapila- 
vastu set up in various places, viz. : where prince Siddhartha 
left the city by the eastern gate, where his chariot was made 
to turn back to the palace, where his horoscope was cast by 
the sage Asita, where the elephant was struck by Nanda and 
others, where the arrow going thirty li in south-easterly 
direction, penetrated into the earth and produced a fountain 
of water which quenched the thirst of travellers in later 
generations, where Suddhodana was met by his son when the 
latter had acquired supreme wisdom, where five hundred 
Sakya converts honoured Upali, and where the children of 
the Sakyas were massacred by King Vidudabha.* 

Later on, Hiuen Tsang who visited India in the seventh 
century A.D., narrates that Kapilavastu, the country of the 

i Travels of Fa-Hien and Sang-Yun, by S. Bcal, pp. 88-98. 
* Travels of Fa-Hien by Beal, pp. 85-87. 

0- Bwldha's life in tilt* palace and his flight from Kapihivastu. 


Sakyas, was about four thousand li in circuit. The royal 
precincts built of brick were within the city measuring 
fourteen or fifteen li round. 1 He says that long after the 
passing away of the Buddha, topes and shrines were built 
in or near Kapilavastu. 2 The villages were few and desolate. 
The monasteries (samgharamas) which were then in ruins 
were more than one thousand in number. There still exist- 
ed a samgharama near the royal precincts which contained 
30 (3000 according to one text) followers who read f the 
little vehicle of the Sammatiy a school.' There were two deva 
temples where different sectarians worshipped. There were 
some dilapidated foundation walls, the remains of the princi- 
pal palace of King Suddhodana, above which, a vihara (monas- 
tery) was built containing a stupa of the king. Near it, was 
a foundation in ruins representing the sleeping palace of 
Queen Mahamaya. Above it, a vihara was built containing 
a figure of the queen. Close by, stood a vihara where the 
Bodhisatta entered the womb of his mother. A stupa was 
built to the north-east of ' the palace of spiritual conception ' 
of the Bodhisatta. 8 To the north-west of the capital, a 
stupa was built where King Vidudabha massacred the 
Sakyas.* The cultured land was rich and fertile. The 
climate of the country was bracing. 

According to Dr. Rhys Davids, there were villages round 
the rice fields and the cattle roamed 

sakya villages. a fc otlt in the outlying forest. The jungles 

' Beal's Records of the Western World, Vol. II, pp. 13-14. 

* Walters on Yuan Chwang, Vol. II, p. 4- 

< Beal's Records of the Western World, Vol. II, pp. 14-15. * Ibid, Vol. II, p. 12. 



which were occasionally resorted to by robbers divided one 
village from another. 1 

Mention is made of several other Sakya towns besides 

Kapilavastu, viz., Chatuma, Samagama, Ulumpa, Devadaha, 

Sakkara, Silavati, and Khomadussa. 

Other &kya towns. (The Cambridge History of India, Vol. I, 

p. 175.) The last mentioned city was so called on account 
of its abundant produce of linen cloth.* 

It is stated in the Jataka that the Sakyas were a haughty 

people. They were so very haughty that 
People "teri8tics^ arac " they did not do obeisance to Siddhartha 

on the ground that he was younger in 
age. But they were afterwards made to do so on seeing 
a miracle performed by him. 3 Hiuen Tsang saw them 
obliging in manners.* They did not kill any living thing, 
' not even a black beetle.' B Cattle and rice supplied their only 
means of livelihood. 8 The Sakya peasants enjoyed rights in 
common. 7 

The Tibetan Buddhist books as translated by Rockhill 

social customs. (Life of the Buddha > P- *5) relate that the 

Sakya law allowed a man one wife only. 

This law is rather remarkable inasmuch as from the Vedic 

age downwards, polygamy was in vogue in India, and this 

was so, specially among the Ksatriyas who were rich and 

1 Buddhist India, pp. 2021. 

2 The Book of the Kindred Sayings, pt. I, p. 233. 
8 Jataka (Cowell), Vol. VI, pp. 246-247. 

* Seal's Records of the Western World, Vol. II, p. 14. 

& Rockhill, Ufe of the Buddha, p. 117. 

Rhys Davids, Buddhist India, p. 20. 1 Ibid, p. 20. 


powerful. We may, however, account for the existence of 
this law among the Sakyas on the ground of their special 
constitution and position. The Sakyas were a small tribe 
and very haughty and proud of their birth. They would 
not give away one of their girls in marriage even to such a 
powerful prince as Pasenadi of Kosala. Among such a 
people, marriage was generally confined within the tribe 
itself, and as such, the number of marriageable girls being 
limited, many adult males would have to go without a wife, 
if polygamy prevailed. Hence, naturally the law had grown 
up among them limiting the number of wives to only one. 
But that the Sakyas had no objection to polygamy as such 
on religious or other grounds, is quite clear from the fact 
narrated by the same Tibetan works, that the rigorous pro- 
vision of the law was relaxed in the case of Suddhodana, 
the father of the Buddha; in consideration of a great public 
service rendered by him when a young prince, in subduing 
the hillmen of the Pandava tribe, he was allowed to have 
two wives by the Sakyas who must have assembled in their 
Santhagara to express their gratitude in this way to the 
heroic prince, who before this, could not marry two wives, 
though two girls, Maya and Mahamaya had been offered by 
their father, Suprabuddha. 

The Lalitavistara seems to suggest that Suddhodana 
had a crowded harem, when it says that Mayadevi was the 
chief queen of Suddhodana, being at the head of a thousand 
ladies. 1 But this appears to be a mere poetic exaggeration, 

1 " Suddhodanassa pramada pradhana hi sagraprapta." Lalita- 
vistara, p. 28. 


because the Pali books speak of only two wives of the king. 
Prince Siddhartha also had only one wife according to all 
accounts, and according to the Lalitavistara itself even the 
hand of this girl was not granted to him though a prince, 
until he could satisfy the proud Sakya father, of his knowledge 
of the silpas or arts by an open exhibition of skill in warfare 
as well as the finer arts. The Lalitavistara thus makes 
Dandapani, the father of Gopa, reply to the purohita sent 
by king Suddhodana, "The honourable prince has been 
reared at home among luxuries. This, however, is our 
family custom that a girl is to be made over to one proficient 
in the arts (Silpas) and not to one ignorant of them. The 
prince has no knowledge of the Silpas, nor is he acquainted 
with the methods of fighting with the sword, the bow or other 
weapons. How can I then make over the girl to the prince?" 1 
The same reply is given in the Mahavastu (II, 73) by Maha- 
nama, the father of Yas"odhara when 6uddhodana demands 
his girl as a bride for the young prince. Then the work 
goes on to narrate how he stood easily first in a tournament 
in which five hundred Sakya youngmen took part. The wife 
of Siddhartha is named Yasodhara in the Mahavastu and her 
father is called Mahanama.* 

How proud and aristocratic the Sakyas were when 
asked to give away their daughters in marriage to any one 
outside their clan will appear from the following story of 
King Pasenadi of Kosala who wanted to have the proud 
distinction of having a Sakya girl as his consort. Thus goes 

Lalitavistara, pp. 243 ff. '2 Mahavastu, II, 48. 


on the Jataka commentary : " At Savatthl in the house of 
Anathapindika there was always unfailing food for five 
hundred Brethren, and the same with Visakha and the king 
of Kosala. But in the king's palace, various and fine as 
was the fare given, no one was friendly to the Brethren. 
The result was that the Brethren never ate in the palace, 
but they took their food and went off to eat it at the house 
of Anathapindika or Visakha or some other of their trusted 

One day the king said, f A present has been brought : 
take this to the Brethren/ and sent it to the refectory. An 
answer was brought that no Brethren were there in the 
refectory. 'Where are they gone?* he asked. They were 
sitting in their friends' houses to eat, was the reply. So the 
king after his morning meal came into the Master's presence, 
and asked him, ' Good Sir, what is the best kind of food ?' 
*The food of friendship is the best, great king,' said he; 
' even sour rice-gruel given by a friend becomes sweet. ' ' Well, 
Sir, and with whom do the Brethern find frendship ?' ' With 
their kindred, great king, or with the Sakya families.' Then 
the king thought, what if he were to make a Sakya girl his 
queen-consort: then the Brethren would be his friends, as 
it were with their own kindred. 

So rising from his seat, he returned to the palace, and 
sent a message to Kapilavatthu to this effect: 'Please give 
me one of your daughters in marriage, for I wish to become 
connected with your family.' On receipt of this message 
the Sakyas gathered together and deliberated : ' We live in a 
place subject to the authority of the king of Kosala; if 


we refuse a daughter, he will be very angry, and if we give 
her, the custom of our clan will be broken. What are we to 
do?' Then Mahanama said to them, 'Do not trouble about 
it. I have a daughter, named Vasabhakhattiya. Her 
mother is a slave woman, Nagamunda by name ; she is some 
sixteen years of age, of great beauty and auspicious prospects, 
and by her father's side noble. We will send her, as a girl 
nobly born. 1 The Sakyas agreed, and sent for the messen- 
gers, and said they were willing to give a daughter of the clan, 
and that they might take her with them at once. But the 
messengers reflected, 'These Sakyas are desperately proud 
in matters of birth. Suppose they should send a girl who is 
not of them, and say that she is so. We will take none but 
one who eats along with them.' So they replied, 'Well, we 
will take her, but we will take one who eats along with you.' 

The Sakyas assigned a lodging for the messengers, and 
then wondered what to do. Mahanama said: 'Now do not 
trouble about it; I will find a way. At my meal time bring 
in Vasabhakhattiya drest up in her finery ; then just as I have 
taken one mouthful, produce a letter, and say, My Lord, 
such a king has sent you a letter; be pleased to hear his 
message at once.' 

They agreed ; and as he was taking his meal they drest 
and adorned the maid. ' Bring my daughter/ said Maha- 
nama, 'and let her take food with me.' 'In a moment,' 
said they, 'as soon as she is properly adorned,' and after a 
short delay they brought her in. Expecting to take food 
with her father, she dipt her hand into the same dish. 
Mahanama had taken one mouthful with her, and put 


it in his mouth; but just as he stretched out his hand 
for another, they brought him a letter, saying, 'My lord, 
such a king has sent a letter to you: be pleased to hear 
his message at once.' Said Mahanama, ' Go on with your 
meal, my dear/ and holding his right hand in the dish, with 
his left took the letter and looked at it. As he examined 
the message the maiden went on eating. When she had 
eaten, he washed his hand and rinsed out his mouth. The 
messengers were firmly convinced that she was his daughter, 
for they did not divine the secret. 

So Mahanama sent away his daughter in great pomp. 
The messengers brought her to Savatthi, and said that this 
maiden was the true-born daughter of Mahanama. The 
king was pleased, and caused the whole city to be decorated, 
and placed her upon a pile of treasure, and by a ceremonial 
sprinkling made her his chief queen. She was dear to the 
king, and beloved." 1 

From the above account, it is evident that the Sakyas 
contracted their marriages within their own tribe and even 
their ruling house did not enter into matrimonial relations 
with any of the numerous princely houses in northern India. 
Thus while the royal houses of KoSala, Magadha and Videha 
did marry with each other, we do not hear of the Sakya 
people entering into such relations with any outsiders. When 
the marriage of Prince Siddhartha was decided upon at the 
council of five hundred Sakya elders, the latter did not go out 
to find a suitable princess from among the many ruling 

i Jataka (Cowell), Vol. IV, pp. 91-92. 


families, but they proceeded to select a bride for him from 
among themselves. This clannish custom among the Sakyas 
gave rise perhaps to the idea that they married their sisters 
as we have seen when speaking of their origin. But this 
seems to have been tauntingly spoken of them by their rival 
tribes, like the Koliyas. 

The Sakyas had a peculiar custom that when a child 
was born, it was carried to the temple of Kvaradeva to be 
presented to the God. The temple contained a stone 
image of the God in the posture of rising and bowing. ( Watters 
on Yuan Chwang, Vol. II., p. 13.) 

The women appear to have enjoyed a greater amount 
of independence and free thinking among 

Position of women. 6 ; , ,. ^11 c 

the Sakyas than among the peoples ot 
the plains perhaps owing to the same scarcity of women 
that forced them to enact a law prohibiting multiple marriages. 
This is evidenced by the fact that the Sakya ladies were the 
first to come out of their hearth and home and embrace 
the hardy life of nuns in order to ensure the emancipation 
of their souls. Even the Master who always evinced a solici- 
tude for not violating the usual social customs, was not 
willing to ordain them. But the importunities of the Sakya 
ladies prevailed at last, and the Master, though unwilling, 
had to yield. Thus, according to all Buddhist accounts, the 
Sakya ladies were the first to cut themselves off from the 
world, and to institute the order of nuns, the foster-mother 
of the Buddha taking the lead. Thus we read "Now 
at that time the Blessed Buddha was staying among 
the Sakyas in Kapilavatthu, in the Nigrodharama. And 


Maha-pajapati the Gotaml went to the place where the 
Blessed One was, and on arriving there, bowed down before 
the Blessed One, and remained standing on one side. And 
so standing she spake thus to the Blessed One : 

'It would be well, Lord, if women should be allowed to 
renounce their homes and enter the homeless state under the 
doctrine and discipline proclaimed by the Tathagata.' 

'Enough, O Gotaml ! Let it not please thee that women 
should be allowed to do so.* 

[And a second and a third time did Maha-pajapati the 
Gotaml make the same request in the same words, and receive 
the same reply.] 

Then Maha-pajapati the Gotaml sad and sorrowful for 
that the Blessed One would not permit women to enter the 
homeless state, bowed down before the Blessed One, and 
keeping him on her right hand as she passed him, departed 
thence weeping and in tears. 

Now when the Blessed One had remained at Kapilavatthu 
as long as he thought fit, he set out on his journey towards 
Vesali ; and travelling straight on he in due course arrived 
thereat. And there at Vesali the Blessed One stayed, in the 
Mahavana, In the Kutagara Hall. 

And Maha-pajapati the Gotami cut off her hair, and 
put on orange-coloured robes, and set out, with a number of 
women of the Sakya clan, towards Vesali ; and in due course 
she arrived at Vesali, at the Mahavana, at the KOtagara 
Hall. And Maha-pajapati the Gotami, with i 
covered with dust, sad and sorrowful, we 
took her stand outside under the entranc 


And the venerable Ananda saw her so standing there, 
and on seeing her so he said to Maha-pajapatI : 'why 
standest thou there, outside the porch, with swollen feet and 
covered with dust, sad and sorrowful, weeping and in 
tears ? ' 

'Inasmuch, O Ananda, as the Lord, the Blessed One, 
does not permit women to renounce their homes and enter 
the homeless state under the doctrine and discipline pro- 
claimed by the Tathagata.' 

Then did the venerable Ananda go up to the place where 
the Blessed One was, and bow down before the Blessed One, 
and take his seat on one side. And, so sitting, the venerable 
Ananda said to the Blessed One : 

'Behold, Lord, Maha-pajapatl the Gotami is standing 
outside under the entrance porch, with swollen feet and 
covered with dust, sad and sorrowful, weeping and in tears, 
inasmuch as the Blessed One does not permit women to 
renounce their homes and enter the homeless state under 
the doctrine and discipline proclaimed by the Blessed One. 
It were well, Lord, if women were to have permission granted 
to them to do as she desires.' 

' Enough, Ananda ! Let it not please thee that women 
should be allowed to do so.' 

[And a second and a third time did Ananda make the 
same request, in the same words, and receive the same reply.] 

Then the venerable Ananda thought : ' The Blessed One 
does not give his permission, let me now ask the Blessed One 
on another ground. ' And the venerable Ananda said to the 
Blessed One : 


' Are women, Lord, capable when they have gone forth 
from the household life and entered the homeless state, under 
the doctrine and discipline proclaimed by the Blessed One 
are they capable of realising the fruit of conversion, or of the 
second Path, or of the third Path, or of Arahatship ? ' 

'They are capable, Ananda. ' 

'If then, Lord, they are capable thereof, since Maha- 
pajapati the Gotami has proved herself of great service to 
the Blessed One, when as aunt and nurse she nourished 
him and gave him milk, and on the death of his mother 
suckled the Blessed One at her own breast, it were well, Lord, 
that women should have permission to go forth from the 
household life and enter the homeless state, under the doctrine 
and discipline proclaimed by the Tathagata. * 

' If then, Ananda, Maha-pajapatl the Gotami take upon 
herself the Eight Chief Rules, let that be reckoned to her 
as her initiation. ' 

Then the venerable Ananda, when he had learnt from 
the Blessed One these Eight Chief Rules, went to Maha- 
pajapati the Gotami and [told her all that the Blessed One 
had said]. 

' Just Ananda, as a man or a woman, when young and of 
tender years, accustomed to adorn himself, would, when he 
had bathed his head, receive with both hands a garland of 
lotus flowers, or of jasmine flowers or of atimuttaka flowers, 
and place it on the top of his head ; even so do I, Ananda, 
take upon me these Eight Chief Rules, never to be trans- 
gressed my life long. ' 

Then the venerable Ananda returned to the Blessed 


One, and bowed down before him, and took his seat, on one 
side. And, so sitting, the venerable Ananda said to the 
Blessed One: 'Maha-pajapati the Gotami, Lord, has taken 
upon herself the Eight Chief Rules, the aunt of the Blessed 
One has received the upasampada initiation. ' 

f If, Ananda, women had not received permission to go 
out from the household life and enter the homeless state, 
under the doctrine and discipline proclaimed by the Tatha- 
gata, then would the pure religion, Ananda, have lasted long, 
the good law would have stood fast for a thousand years. 
But since, Ananda, women have now received that permission, 
the pure religion, Ananda, will not now last so long, the good 
law will now stand fast for only five hundred years. Just, 
Ananda, as houses in which there are many women and but 
few men are easily violated by robber burglars; just so, 
Ananda, under whatever doctrine and discipline women are 
allowed to go out from the household life into the homeless 
state, that religion will not last long. And just, Ananda, as 
when the disease called mildew falls upon a field of rice in 
fine condition, that field of rice does not continue long ; just 
so, Ananda, under whatsoever doctrine and discipline women 
are allowed to go forth from the household life into the home- 
less state, that religion will not last long. And just, Ananda, 
as when the disease called blight falls upon a field of sugar- 
cane in good condition, that field of sugar-cane does not 
continue long ; just so, Ananda under whatsoever doctrine 
and discipline women are allowed to go forth from the house- 
hold life into the homeless state, that religion does not last 
long. And just, Ananda, as a man would in anticipation 


build an embankment to a great reservoir, beyond which the 
water should not overpass; just even so, Ananda, have I 
in anticipation laid down these Eight Chief Rules for the 
Bhikkhums, their life long not to be overpassed.' " [Vinaya 
Texts, S.B.E., Vol. xx., pt. iii, pp. 320-326, I, 2, 3, 4, ist. 
para, and paras 5 and 6.] 

There was a technical college of the Sakyas in the mango- 
grove. The translators on the authority 

Education. . . _ . f ., . . . 

of the Sumangalavilasmi, the comment- 
ary on the Dlgha Nikaya by Buddhaghosa, say, ' ( It was a long 
terraced mansion made for the learning of crafts." ' The 
learning of one or other of the arts was incumbent upon 
every Sakya youth, otherwise no father would give his 
daughter in marriage to an idler or ignoramus, as we see from 
the reply received by King Suddhodana when he proposed 
for a bride for the young Prince Siddhartha. There was also 
a school for archery at Kapilavastu where the Sakyas were 
trained. 2 The &akyas being a ksatriya tribe devoted to 
warlike pursuits, and surrounded as they were, by warlike 
tribes on all sides, the school of archery was necessarily a 
flourishing institution. The I^alitavistara describes in detail 
the various sciences and arts beginning with the arts of writing 
that the young Siddhartha had to learn. But the whole 
description, as will be seen, is that of an ideal school which the 
poet pictured to his imagination, basing the account, no 
doubt, on the condition of education in India at the time 

l Dialogues of the Buddha, Vol. IV, pt. Ill, p. III. f. n. 
9 Watters On Yuan Chwang, Vol. II. p. 13- 


the poet lived. There is nothing in it that might be called 
particularly Sakya. 

The minds of the Sakya royal princes and nobles were 
so enlightened by the Buddha that they were able to realise 

influence of the Bud- " the P erfeCt fmit f righteousness.'*' 

dha's teachings on the Nandupananda and Kundadana, two 
akya8 ' principal nobles, and other persons of the 

Sakya clan became recluses. 2 Upali, son of Atall, followed 
their example. Then the other princes and the sons of the 
chief minister renounced the world. 3 At the request of the Bud- 
dha many Sakyas became recluses.* They were well provid- 
ed for. 6 The life of the Sakya recluse was so. attractive that 
Sumangala (reborn in a poor family) became a hermit. They 
were respected for their simplicity of life. 8 They used to shave 
their heads, put on yellow robes and carry the alms-bowl. 1 
Seldom could they find time to sleep as they had too many 
duties to attend to. 8 There was a residence at Kapilavastu 
provided by the community for recluses of all schools." 

Some of the Sakya ladies that left the world and adopted 
the life of the female ascetic have left behind them poems 
and songs that are preserved in the Psalms of the Sisters. 

Buddha and Tiesa. A * the timC f the Buddha Gautama, 

Tissa was born at Kapilavastu among 
the Sakyas. She renounced the world with Maha-pajapati 

i S.B.E. Vol. XIX, p. 226. -2 ibid, pp. 226-227. 

Ibid, p. 227. * Ibid, pp. 226-227. 

& Psalms of the Brethren, p. 81. Ibid, p. 47. 

1 Mricchakotika, Act VIII, pp. 125-126. (Jlvananda Vidyasagara's edition ) 

Charudatta, Act III, p. 53. Buddhist India, p. 20. 


GotamI and became spiritually so developed that she 
attained Arahatship. 1 

AbhirQpananda was the daughter of Khemaka, the 

Sakya. She was called Nanda the Fair 

for her S reat beauty and amiability. 

Her beloved kinsman, Carabhuta, died 
on the day on which she was to choose him from amongst 
her suitors. She had to leave the world against her will. 
Though she entered the Order, she could not forget that she 
was beautiful. Fearing that the Buddha would rebuke her, 
she used to avoid his presence. The Buddha knew that the 
time had come for her to acquire knowledge and asked 
Mahapajapati GotamI to bring all the Bhikkhums before 
him to receive instruction. Nanda sent a proxy for her. 
The Buddha said, "Let no one come by proxy." So she 
was compelled to come to him. The Buddha oy his 
supernatural power conjured up a beautiful woman who 
became transformed into an old and fading figure. It had 
the desired effect and she became an Arahat. 4 

Mitta, born in the royal family of the Sakyas at Kapila- 

vastu, left the world with Mahapajapati 
Bud<U Mma Therl Gotami. After the necessary training, 

she soon attained Arahatship (saint- 
ship). 3 

Sundari Nanda was born in the royal family of the 
Sakyas. She was known as the beautiful Nanda. Thinking 

l Psalms of the Sisters, pp. 12-13. 

9 Ibid, pp. 22-23. Ibid, p. 29. 


about the fact that her elder brother, her mother, her 
brother, her sister and her nephew had renounced the world, 

she too left it. Even after her renun- 
B smStari 1 Nandl!! i ciation, she was obsessed with the idea 

of her beauty and would not approach 
the Lord lest she should be reproached for her folly. The 
Lord taught her in the same way as he did in the case of 
Nanda the Fair. She listened to the Master's teachings and 
enjoyed the benefit of the fruition of the first stage of 
sanctification. He then instructed her, saying, "Nanda, 
there is, in this body, not even the smallest essence. It is 
but a heap of bones covered with flesh and besmeared with 
blood under the shadow of decay and death." Afterwards 
she became an Arahat 1 

The administrative and judicial business of the 6akya 

clan were carried out in their santhagara 

Government . 

or Mote-Hall at Kapilavastu. (Buddhist 
India, p. 19.) A young Brahmin named Ambattha who went 
to Kapilavastu on business, had the opportunity of visiting 
the Mote-Hall of the Sakyas where he saw the young and the 
old seated on grand seats.* The santhagara is spoken of as 
samsthagara in the Mahavastu and the Lalitavistara and 
we find there that five hundred Sakyas usually took their 
seats in the Hall. Thus the Mahavastu describes how thirty- 
two princes, the sons of a Sakya girl and Raja Kola of 
Benares, came to settle in Kapilavastu (Sakyanam samuda- 

i Psalms of the Sisters, pp. 55-57. 
* Dialogues of the Buddha, I, p. 113. 


cara), they presented themselves before the Sakya council 
(Sakyaparisa or Sakyaparisad) where sat together five hun- 
dred Sakya leaders to transact some important business. A 
new Mote-Hall of the Sakyas was raised at Kapilavastu when 
the Buddha was dwelling at the Nigrodharama in the Maha- 
vana which was close to it. At their request, the Buddha in- 
augurated the hall and a series of ethical discourses lasting 
the whole of the night, were delivered by him, Ananda and 
Moggallana. 1 

The Lalitavistara also gives the same number, five 
hundred as the number of the members of the Sakya council. 
Thus we are told that when the young Siddhartha was seated 
in the council hall (sarhsthagara) with the Sakyas in council 
assembled, then the Sakya elders urged upon the king the 
advisability of getting the prince married early in order that 
he might not get out of the world and that he might become 
a great sovereign (cakravartti). Thereupon King Suddho- 
dana asked them to look for a suitable bride. Upon this, 
the Lalitavistara asserts, the five hundred Sakyas said each 
of them that his own girl was beautiful and was a fit mate 
for the prince. 2 From these two stories it appears clear that 
the number of members in the Sakya council was fixed at 
five hundred. The parisad or council of the Licchavis 
appears to have been larger, but the system of administration 
seems to be very much the same, though there was this great 
difference that while at Vaiall everyone called himself a raja, 
at Kapilavastu people had a distinct headman called the raja. 

i Buddhist India, p. 20. 

Lalitavistara, Edited by Lefmann, p. 136 (line TO) to p. 137 (line 10). 



That King Pasenadi of Kosala should marry one of the 
daughters of the Sakya chiefs, was decided in the council. 
Among the Sakyas, there was only one chief who bore the 
title of raja, and was elected by the people. According to 
Dr. Rhys Davids, he had to preside over the sessions and 
when no sessions were held, he had to conduct the business 
of the state. Once Bhaddiya, a young cousin of the Buddha, 
took the title of raja and Suddhodana was styled a raja, 
although he was a simple citizen, Suddhodana the Sakiyan. 1 
In the opinion of Dr. Rhys Davids, all the important places 
had a Mote-Hall "or pavilion covered with a roof but with 
no walls in which to conduct their business." The local 
affairs of the villages were conducted in open assembly 

consisting of the householders, " held in the groves which 

formed so distinctive a feature of each village in the long and 
level alluvial plain." 2 In the time of the Chinese travellers, 
Fa-Hien, Sung-Yun and Hiuen Tsang there was no central 
government at Kapilavastu. There existed a congregation 
of priests and about ten families of laymen. 3 Each town 
appointed its own ruler and there was no supreme ruler* 
Dr. D. R. Bhandarkar says that kula or clan sovereignty 
was prominent among the Sakyas. Kula, which was more 
extensive than the family, was the lowest political unit 
amongst the political samghas. To quote his words, kula 
"denotes not simply the domination of a chief over his clan 
but also and principally his supremacy over the territory 

J Buddhist Iiidia, p. 19. * Ibid, p. 20. 

Beal's Travels of Fa-Hien and Sung Yun, pp. 85-87. 
* Beal, Records of the Western World, Vol. II, p. 14. 


occupied by that clan." The Sakya country was governed 
by one ruler but was not solely occupied by the Sakyas, 
there were brahmins, artisans and traders. 1 

It appears from the Mahavastu (Vol. II., p. 76) that 

Koliya and Licchavi youngmen also 

The ntighbou a wf the!r showed their prowess at the tournament 

held to test .the knowledge of Prince 

Siddhartha before his marriage. It seems that the Koliyas 

and the Licchavis were on terms of close relationship with 

the Sakyas. The Koliyas, as we have seen, were of kindred 

origin and the Licchavis from their living in the country 

to the south-east of the Sakya territory, most probably often 

became intimate with the &akyas. 

The Kosala country bordered on the region occupied 
by the Sakyas and there were mutual jealousies between the 
two peoples that often developed into war. Thtr. we are 
told that the Sakyas became the vassals of King Pasenadi of 
Kosala who received homage from them and they treated him 
in the same way as the king treated the Buddha. (Dialogues 
of the Buddha, pt. III., p. 80.) The Tibetan books have 
preserved a story of the Koala king who visited the capital 
of the Sakyas. Once Pasenadi, king of 
Kosala, carried away by his horse 
reached Kapilavastu alone, and roaming 
about hither and thither, came to the garden of Mahanaman. 
Here he saw the beautiful Mallika who was well versed 
in the gastras and asked her as to whose garden it was and 

1 Carmicha;! Lectures, 1918, pp. 162-164. 


was told that it belonged to Sakya Mahanaman. He then 
got down and wanted some water to wash his feet with. 
She brought it. Again she was asked to bring some water 
with which to wash his face and she brought it and the king 
washed his face with it. Afterwards he wanted some water 
to drink which was brought for him in a leaf-cup. Then she 
was requested by the king to rub his feet which she willingly 
did. Hardly had she touched his feet when he fell asleep. 
She thought that the king might have enemies and she 
closed the gate when the cries of 'open' were heard by 
her from a multitude of people who wanted to rush in. 
She did not open the gate. The king awoke and asked 
her what the matter was. She told him what she did. Her 
shrewdness and wisdom were admired by the king. Coming 
to know that she was a slave girl of Mahanaman, he went to 
her master and expressed his desire to marry her. The 
master agreed and the king took her with him in great pomp 
to Sravasti. But the king's mother was highly displeased 
as her son had married a slave girl. When Mallika went 
to pay respects to her and touched her feet, she at once 
fell asleep. When she awoke, she thought that such a touch 
could not but be of a maiden of noble birth, worthy of the 
family of Kosala. At that time Pasenadi had a wife named 
Varsika, famous for her beauty, besides Mallika, well known 
for her wonderful touch. Shortly afterwards, a son was born 
to Mallika who was called Virudhaka or the high-born. 1 

J Rockhill, Life of the Buddha, pp. 75-77. According to Pali canonical literature, 
Virudhaka was the son of Pasenadi by another wife named Vasabhakhattiya who was 
given in marriage to Pasenadi by the Sakyas. 


This story is nothing but a Tibetan version of the story of 
Pasenadi and Vasabhakhattiya. 

We have already seen how Pasenadi wished to establish 
a connection with the Buddha's family by marriage and 
wanted to marry one of the daughters of the Sakya chiefs. 
The Sakyas afterwards decided that it was beneath their 
dignity to marry one of their daughters to the king of KoSala. 1 
A girl named Vasabiiakhattiya, a daughter by a slave 
girl of one of their leading chiefs, Mahanaman, was sent by 
the Sakyas to the king. 

But King Pasenadi had great admiration for the Buddha 
who was a Sakya. The king went to him and rubbed his 
feet out of devotion to him. He further said, "Worldly 
life is full of civil strifes as people have not yet realised the 
Dharma of the Tathagata." 2 

VidQdabha, the son of Pasenadi and Vasabhaldiattiya, 
when he came of age, found out that the Sakyas had deceived 
his father Pasenadi by giving him a daughter of a slave girl 
to marry. He resolved to take revenge upon them. Vidfl- 
dabha, therefore, wanted to get possession of the throne for 
himself, and with the aid of his commander-in-chief, Dlrgha 
Carayana or Digha Karayana, he deposed his father who fled 
with his life from Sravastl, the KoSala capital; he set out for 
Rajagaha, the Magadhan capital. " It was late when he came 
to the city, and the gates were shut and lying down in a shed, 
exhausted by exposure to wind and sun, he died there. 1 ' 
(Jataka, Vol. IV, p. 96.) After ascending the throne, 

i Rhys Davids, Buddhist India, p. n. 

Majjhima Nikaya (P.T.S.), Vol. II, pt. I, pp. 118-124. 



Besides the clans of which some account has been given 
in the previous chapters, there are a few others occasionally 
referred to in the Buddhist texts, parti- 
cularly in the Book of the Great Decease. 
They may be enumerated as follows : 

1. The Bulis of Allakappa. 

2. The Koliyas of Devadaha and Ramagama. 

3. The Moriyas of Pipphalivana. 

4. The Bhaggas of Sumsumara Hill. 

5. The Kalamas of Kesaputta. 

" There are," as Dr. Rhys Davids points out, ' * several other 
names of tribes of which it is not yet known whether they 
were clans or under monarchical government. We have 
only one instance of any tribe, once under a monarchy, 
reverting to the independent state. And whenever the 
supreme power in a clan became hereditary, the result seems 
always to have been an absolute monarchy, without legal 
limitations of any kind."* 

The five clans or tribes mentioned above are mere passing 
shadows in early Buddhist records, there being hardly any 

* 1 have derived substantial help from Dr. B. M. Barua while engaged in writing 
thi 8 chapter. 
< I3t-*fc fcbyrDavids, Buddhist India, p. 23. 

THE BUttS, ETC. 201 

data for an historical account of them. The Book of the 
Great Decease 1 mentions the Bulis of Allakappa, the Koliyas 
of Ramagama and the Moriyas of Pipphalivana, along with 
the lyicchavis of Vesall, the Sakyas of Kapilavatthu and 
others, as so many distinct ksatriya clans or corporations, 
claiming shares of the bodily remains of the Buddha Gautama 
on the ground that like the deceased master they were all 
of the ksatriya caste. The message sent 

b y each of these clans to I* 16 Mallas of 
KuSInara is as follows: "The Blessed 
One belonged to the soldier caste, we too are of the soldier 
caste. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics 
of the Blessed One. Over the remains of the Blessed One 
will we put up a sacred cairn and in their honour, will 
we celebrate a feast."* The claimants are said to have 
obtained their respective shares of relics, which they en- 
shrined with customary ceremonies. The Bulis of Allakappa 
and the Koliyas of Ramagama had 

Their solicitude for , . . 1 

the remains of the the good fortune to obtain one share 
each of the bodily remains while the 
Moriyas of Pipphalivana had to be satisfied with a share of 
the ashes as they were rather late in sending their messenger 
to Ku&nara. One of their descendants a Moriya of Patali- 
putra was more fortunate. The existing Buddhist tradi- 
tions all agree in bearing out the fact of redistribution of 
the relics of the Buddha in the time of King ASoka Moriya 
( Maurya) with the exception of those enshrined at Ramagama 

1 Digha Nikaya, II. p. 164 foil. 

< Buddhist Suttas, S.B.E.. Vol. XI, p. 132. 


by the Koliyas. The legend from the ASokavadana which 
has been summarised by late Dr. Vincent Smith is as 
follows: "The Avadana story is that when King ASoka 
desired to distribute the sacred relics of the body of Buddha 
among the eighty-four thousand stupas erected by himself, 
he opened the stflpa of the Urn, wherein King AjataSatru 
had enshrined the cremation relics collected from seven 
of the eight original stupas. The eighth, that at Ramagama, 
was defended by the guardian Nagas, who would not allow 
it to be opened. The relics thus withdrawn from the stupa 
of the Urn, were distributed among eighty-four thousand 
stflpas, 'resplendent as the autumn clouds/ which were erect- 
ed in a single day by the descendant of the Mauryas." 1 A 
similar legend can be gathered from the Sinhalese chronicles 
and other late Pali works, particularly Buddhaghosa's com- 
mentary 2 on the Mahaparinibbana Suttanta. The evidence 
of the Pali Canonical texts themselves amply corroborates 
the truth of the later legends barring certain details which 
have a special importance of their own. The epilogues 
attached to the Book of the Great Decease and the Buddha- 
vaihsa prove that the sacred relics of Buddha's body were, 
after their re-distribution, enshrined all over northern India 
from Gandhara to Kalinga. 8 

In the Bhlsmaparva of the Mahabharata, mention is 
made of the Bhargas along with other tribes, e.g., the Andhras, 

i Vincent Smith, Asoka, 2nd edition, pp. 251-252. 
* Sumangala-Vilasini, Burmese edition, pt. II, p. 183, foil. 

DIgha-Nikaya, n, p. 167; The Buddhavarfisa and the Cariyapitaka, J.P.T.S., 
1882, p. 68. 

12. Buddhist Stupa a.nd Yihiira. 


the Kiratas, the KoSalas, the Gandharas, the Sauviras, the 
Sindhus, and so forth (gth chapter, p. 822). The Bbaggas 
of the Sumsumara Hill have been casually referred to in 
some suttas of the Maj jhima and the Sam- 
yutta Nikayas.' There can be no doubt 
about the fact that the Sumsumara Hill was used as a fort. 
It was situated in a deer park at Bhesakalavana. In the life 
time of the Buddha, Prince Bodhi, son of Udena, ruled over 
the Bhaggas, apparently as his father's viceroy. He became 
one of the followers of the Buddha.* When the Buddha was 
amongst the Bhaggas, the householder, Nakulapita, went to 
him and spoke to him thus, "I have become old and 
wearied, let the Lord admonish me and instruct me for my 
eternal happiness." He afterwards became one of the 
devotees of the Master at Bhesakalavana. 8 

As regards the Kalamas of Kesaputta, our information 
is very meagre. There is but a bare mention of them in the 

mu ,--,- Nikayas. No doubt they existed at the 

The Kalamas. 

time of the Buddha as a distinct tribe or 
people. Probably their home or seat of government was in 
a mountain fastness, not far from the upper Gangetic valley. 
We are quite in the dark about their origin and other 
particulars. We must bear in mind that in ancient India, 
the tribe lent its name to the place of its settlement, that is 

i Majjhima Nikaya, Vol. I, pp. 332-338 ; Vol. II, pt. I, pp. 9i-97 Saifayutta 
Nikaya, pt. IV, p. n6; Ibid, pt. Ill, pp. 1-5. 

s BodhJrajakumara Sutta, Majjhima Nikaya, Vol. II, p. 91; Fausboll, Jataka, 
Vol. Ill, p. 157. 

Sadiyntta Nikaya, pt. Ill, pp. 1-5. 


to say, the tribal name became local. The word ' Kesaputta ' 
should be taken in its plural form, denoting the land of the 
Kesaputtas. The etymology of the name indicates that the 
tribe traced its descent from the Kesins, a tribe connected 
with the Pancalas. 1 In the Mahaparinibbana Suttanta,* 
and other Buddhist texts, ancient and modern, we are intro- 
duced to a renowned religious teacher named Alara Kalama 
(Sanskrit, Arada Kalama). One caravan merchant named 
Pukkusa, a young Mallian, was a disciple of Alara Kalama. 
Much emphasis was laid by Pukkusa on the spiritual attain- 
ments of Kalama. He said that his preceptor's ecstatic 
trance was so very deep and profound that a long train of 
heavily laden carts passed by him but he did not perceive 
them. 8 Alara Kalama might have been a Hathayogin. 
Buddhaghosa says that he was called Alara because he was a 
Dighapingala or a hermit of long standing, Kalama being his 
family name. 4 It would seem clear that Alara Kalama came 
of the Kalama tribe or that he was in some way connected 
with it. The Buddhist texts represent the Kalamas as 
worshippers of the Buddha Gautama who was before his 
enlightenment, a disciple of Kalama, a renowned teacher of 
philosophy. 6 

The Sumangalavilasinl (pp. 260-262) states that the 

The Koiiyas. eldest of the five dau g hters of Okkaka 

by the chief queen contracted leprosy 

(kuftharoga). The four sons of Okkaka, who were brothers 

i Vcdic Index, Vol. I, p. 468. * Digha-Nikaya, Vol, II, pp. 130-131. 

8 Buddhist Suttas, S.B.E., Vol. XI. f p. 76. * Ibid, p. 75. f.n. 

' Kern, Manual df Indian Buddhism, p. 18. 


of the eldest daughter, apprehending that if they lived with 
her, they might contract the disease, took her on the pretext 
of going to a garden, to a forest and there confined her in an 
underground closet. At that time, Rama, king of Benares, 
got leprosy and being detested by his wives and relations, 
left the kingdom, entered the torest and there eating leaves 
and fruits of wild trees, was soon cured of the disease and 
began to live in the forest. One night he heard the voice 
of the woman and in the morning, going in the direction of 
the voice, found the princess in the underground closet. 
He cured her by means of those leaves and fruits by which 
he himself was cured and married her. He then built a town 
in the forest removing a big Kola tree. Inasmuch as the 
town was built on the site of the Kola tree, it came to be 
called Kolanagara and the descendants of the king came to 
be known as Koliyas. 

The Mahavastu tells us that a daughter of a certain 
Sakya noble who was handsome and endowed with all good 
qualities, was attacked with leprosy. The physicians were 
treating her but the disease was incurable. They prescribed 
ointments and laxative medicines for her. Sores appeared 
all over the body. The people began to hate her. She was 
taken by all the brothers in a palanquin to a spot close to the 
Himalayas. They dug out a subterranean room and she 
was left there with abundance of food and water. They 
put planks to block the path leading to the interior of the 
cave and the doors were closed and they put a big heap of 
dust in front of the cave and then they returned to Kapila- 
vastu. She living in that stuffy room in the heat of the 


cave, was cured of leprosy. Her body became altogether 
soreless and she resumed her former beauty. A tiger got 
scent and it came towards her. Having got the scent of a 
human being, the tiger began to throw off the heap of dust. 
Not far from the cave lived a royal sage named Kola who 
was possessed of five supernatural knowledges and had 
attained the four meditations. His hermitage was full of 
vegetables, flowers and fruits. It was very charming. The 
sage while wandering hither and thither in the vicinity of 
the hermitage, came to the cave where the Sakya girl 
lived. The tiger threw off the heap of dust with its legs, 
leaving only the plank. The tiger saw the sage who compelled 
it to leave that spot and go away. As the sage saw the 
tiger throwing off the dust, curiosity arose in his mind. 
Then the plank having been removed by the sage, the door 
of the cave was opened. The Sakya girl was seen in all her 
great beauty. The sage asked, "Well lady, who are you ? " 
She replied, ' ' I am a woman and I am the daughter of a 
certain Sakya of Kapilavastu. Having fallen a victim to 
leprosy, I have been left here to spend the rest of my life. 1 ' 
Seeing the exquisite beauty of the Sakya girl, he became very 
much attached to her. Coming in contact with the Sakya 
girl the sage lost the power of meditation and his supernatural 
knowledge. He then went to the hermitage along with the 
Sakya girl who lived in the hermitage with the sage Kola. 
Sixteen pairs of twin sons were born to them. Thirty-two 
sons of the sage were beautiful and had plaited hairs. The 
sons of the sage, when they grew up, were sent to Kapilavastu 
by their mother who. said to them thus, " Sons, go to the city 


of Kapilavastu where live my father and your maternal 
grandfather. There the sons of such and such persons are 
your maternal uncles and they are Sakya nobles and your 
relations. They will provide you with means to maintain 
yourselves/* She trained them thus in the manners of 
the Sakyas, <f You will approach a Sakya gentleman in this 
way. This is the proper way to salute. In this way you 
should sit down/ 1 Ha\ing trained them in the manners of 
the Sakyas, they were allowed to go. They saluted their 
parents, went round them and then went away. They in course 
of time reached Kapilavastu . They entered Kapilavastu with 
their beautiful appearance. The vast crowd seeing the sons 
of the sage received them and said, "These sons of the sage 
are beautiful and have plaited hairs." They went to the 
Mote-Hall of the Sakyas surrounded by a vast crowd. Five 
hundred Sakyas assembled in the Mote-Hall for sorie busi- 
ness. They approached the Sakya assembly in the way 
they were taught by their mother. The Sakya assembly 
became astounded to see the Sakya manners in them. The 
Sakya assembly asked the sons of the sage thus, " Where- 
from do you come ? " Being instructed they answered thus, 
"We are sons of Kola, the royal sage, who has his hermit- 
age somewhere at the foot of the Himalayas. Our mother 
is the daughter of a certain Sakya." Hearing them, the 
Sakyas became pleased. Their maternal grandfather, who 
was one of the leading Sakyas and whose lineage was noble, 
was still alive. The royal sage Kola gave his eldest son, 
the kingdom of Benares and he went out of the kingdom 
for ordination. The Sakyas were then very glad to learn 


that they were born of the royal sage and not of persons of 
inferior rank. They said, "They must also be Sakyas. 
They belong to the same caste to which we belong. Let 
them be given Sakya girls and appointments." They were 
given Sakya brides, cultivable lands and villages. As the 
princes were born of the sage Kola, they were known as 
Koliyas. (Mahavastu, Vol. I., pp. 352-355.) 

It is stated in the Introduction to the Kunala Jataka 
that the Koliyas used to dwell in the Kola tree (Kolarukkhe). 
Hence they came to be called 'Koliyas' or dwellers in 'jujube' 
(Koli) trees (Jataka, Faiisboll, V., p. 413). 

From the Thera-Gatha (Verse 529, p. 56), it appears 
that the territories of the 6akyas and the Koliyas lay side by 
side and the river RohinI formed the boundary between 
these two clans. (" Passantu tarn Sakiya Kotfya ca paccha- 
mukham Rohiniyam tarantam.") 

The river Rohinl flowed between the territories of 
^ . the Koliyas and the Sakyas. Both the 

Feud between the J J 

Koliyas and the tribes used water of the river for culti- 
akyas " vation and they had the river confined by 

a single dam.. In the month of Jetthamula, when the crops 
began to droop, the Koliya and the Sakya labourers assem- 
bled together. Then the people of the Koliya said, " Should 
this water be drawn off on both sides, it will not prove suffi- 
cient for both us and you. But our crops will thrive with a 
single watering; give us then the water. 1 ' The people of 
Kapilavatthu said, f f When you have filled your garners with 
corn, we shall hardly have the courage to come with ruddy 
gold, emeralds and copper coins and with baskets and sacks 


in our hands, to hang about your doors. Our crops too will 
thrive with a single watering; give us the water." " We will 
not give it," they said. "Neither will we," said the others. 
As words thus ran high, one of them rose up and struck 
another a blow, and he in turn struck a third and thus it was 
that what with interchanging blows and spitefully touching 
on the origin of their princely families they increased the 
tumult. The Koliya labourers said, " Be off with your people 
of Kapilavatthu, men who like dogs, jackals, and such like 
beasts, cohabited with their own sisters. What will their ele- 
phants and horses, their shields and spears avail against us ?" 
The Sakya labourers replied, " Nay, do you, wretched lepers, 
be off with your children, destitute and ill-conditioned fellows, 
who like brute beasts had their dwelling in a hollow jujube 
tree (Koll). What shall their elephants and horses, their 
spears and shields avail against us?" So they went and 
told the councillors appointed to such services and they 
reported it to the princes of their tribes. Then the Sakyas 
said, " We will show them how strong and mighty are the men 
who cohabited with their sisters," and they sallied forth, 
ready for the fray. And the Koliyas said, "We will show 
them how strong and mighty are they who dwelt in the 
hollow of a jujube tree," and they too sallied forth ready 
for the fight. 

Another version of the story is this : "When the female 
slaves of the Sakyas and Koliyas came to the river to fetch 
water, and throwing the coils of cloth that they carried on 
their heads upon the ground, were seated ana pleasantly 
conversing, a certain woman took another's cloth, thinking 


that it was her own ; and when owing to this a quarrel arose, 
each claiming the coil of cloth as hers, gradually the people 
of the two cities, the serfs and the labourers, the attendants, 
headmen, councillors and viceroys, all of them sallied forth 
ready for battle." Now it was at eventide that they would 
be sallying forth, ready for the fray. At this time the 
Blessed One came to the spot from Savatthl, sat cross-legged 
in the air between the two hosts. The Sakyas could recognise 
him and at once threw down their arms with the words, 
"Let the Koliyas slay us or roast us alive." The Koliyas 
too on seeing the Buddha acted in the same way. The 
Lord instructed them, quelled the feud and brought about a 
reunion. (Jataka, Cowell's edition, Vol. V, p. 219 foil.) 

The Mahavastu tells us that there was a Koliya prince 
who was a rival to Gautama Buddha in the art of arrow- 
shooting but he was defeated along with others. (Edited 
by Senart, Vol. II, pp, 76-77.) 

The Udana tells us that the daughter of the king 
of the Koliyas (Koliyadhlta) named Suppavasa who remain- 
ed pregnant for seven years, was terribly suffering from 
labour-pains for seven years. She thought that the Buddha 
and his disciple after undergoing such sufferings, were freed 
from them and she further thought that there was Nibbana 
but there was no such pain in it. She requested her husband 
to go to the Buddha who was then dwelling at Kundi and 
inform him of it. The Buddha being informed desired that 
she should give birth to a healthy son without any pain. As 
soon as the Buddha expressed such a desire, she gave birth 
to a healthy 'son without pain. The husband returned 


home and found Suppavasa with a healthy son. Suppavasa 
again requested her husband to go to the Buddha and invite 
him with his followers to her house for seven days and her 
husband was also instructed by her to inform the Buddha of 
her easy delivery of a son. The Buddha accepted the invi- 
tation and he was sumptuously fed in her house. Sariputta 
who also went to her house asked the son, "Are you all 
right? Have you any want? Are you free from suffer- 
ing ?" The son answered, "I had to live for seven years in 
a jar of blood." Suppavasa was greatly pleased seeing her 
son talking with Sariputta. The Buddha asked her whether 
she would desire to have any more sons. She expressed 
her desire to have seven such sons. The Buddha then left 
her (Udana, P.T.S. pp. 15-18). 

According to some, the name, the Koliyas of Ramagama, 
indicates that the tribe came originally from the same ethnic 
group as the Koliyas of Devadaha. According to Cunning- 
ham, Ramagama (RamagrSma) is identical with Deokali. 1 
There are no historical data for ascertaining the political 
relations of the Koliyas of Ramagama (Ramagrama) with 
the Sakyas. 

It is stated in the Mahaparinibbana Suttanta of the 
Digha Nikaya that the inhabitants of Ramagama belonged 
to the serpent race.* 

The Mahavamsa commentary * furnishes us with some 
interesting information about the origin of the Moriyas of 

i Cunningham, Ancient Geography of India, p. 423. 

a Digha Nikaya (P.T.S.), Vol. II, p. 167. 

Mahavainsa TikS (Sinhalese Edition), pp. 119 foil. 


Pipphalivana and their connection with the Maurya rulers of 
Magadha. We are told that there are 

The Moriyas. ^^ theories about the derivation of the 
name Moriya. According to one theory, the name is derived 
from ' modiya ' meaning pleasing or delightful. The Moriyas 
were a people who lived in a delightful land. According to 
the other, the name is connected with ' mora ' peacock. The 
people came to be known as Moriyas from the fact that the 
place, where they founded their city, always resounded with 
the cries of peacocks. It is said that some of the Sakya 
princes, being hard pressed by Prince Vidudabha, the am- 
bitious and cruel usurper of the throne of KoSala, fled to 
the Himalayan region where they built a new city round a 
lake in the forest tract abounding in pepul trees. 

The above legend about the origin of the Moriyas of 
Pipphalivana cannot be accepted as a historical fact. 
When the Moriyas are introduced to us in the Book of the 
Great Decease, they are contemporaries and powerful rivals 
of the Sakyas of Kapilavatthu or Kapilavastu. Moreover, 
Vidudabha' s invasion of Kapilavatthu and the carnage 
committed upon its citizens took place, if the tradition is at 
all to be believed, shortly before the demise of the Buddha. 
There may be some truth in the implied suggestion that the 
Moriyas were, in some way, connected with the Sakyas of 
Kapilavatthu. With the advance of ethnological researches, 
it may be found that the matrimonial alliance of the Sakyas 
with the neighbouring hill peoples brought some new tribes 
into existence. Further, the Mahavamsa commentary traces 
the origin of the Maurya rulers of Magadha to the Moriyas 


of Pipphalivana. Candagutta, the founder of the Maurya 
dynasty, was born of the chief queen of the Moriyan king of 
Pipphalivana. This account conflicts with the evidence of 
Visakhadatta's Mudraraksasa where Candragupta is re- 
presented as a Vr$ala,' a person of low birth, an illegitimate 
son of the last Nanda king by a sudra woman named Mura. 
How far Visakhadatta's account represents the true state of 
things, is a controversial point. But there are many in- 
stances where such misconception of history resulted from a 
conjectural etymology of personal and dynastic names. It 
appears that the royal family of the Nandas was connected 
by matrimonial alliance with the Moriyas of Pipphalivana, 
and this may derive some support from the fact that in earlier 
and later times, the rulers of Magadha found it necessary 
to establish friendly relations, through marriage, with the 
neighbouring clans, e.g., the Licchavis of VaiSali and the 
Videhans of Mithila. 

It seems certain that the minor clans had much in 
common with those dealt with in the previous chapters. 
Their social customs, religious belief s, laws and administrative 
systems, were, in all likelihood, the same. It is left to the 
future historian of India to decide how far the clans under 
review were instrumental in colonising Bengal, Bihar and 

i Act III, pp. 134-136, 141-143* etc. 


The Madras are an ancient ksatriya tribe of the Vedic 
times. They are not mentioned in the 
T vMfcti^* earl y Vedic Samhitas but the VamSa 
Brahmana of the Samaveda mentions 
an ancient Vedic teacher, Madragara Saungayani from whom, 
as we shall see in the chapter on the Kambojas, Aupaman- 
yava, the Kamboja, received the Vedic lore. From the name 
Madragara, scholars infer 2 that Saungayani belonged to the 
Madra tribe, and this very fact that Vedic learning had 
spread so much among the Madras as to give one of them 
a respected position in the list of ancient teachers, shows 
that the Madras belonged to the Vedic Aryandom before 
the age of the Brahmanas. Their Vedic learning in the 
Brahmana times is testified to by the Satapatha Brahmana 
where we find that sages of Northern India, most probably 
of the Kuru-Pancala district, repaired to the Madra country 
to receive their education in Vedic learning. In the Brha- 
daranyaka-Upani^ad, 8 Uddalaka Aruni told Yajnavalkya, 
" We dwelt among the Madras in the houses of Patancala 
Kapya, studying the sacrifice." And, again, Bhujyu L,aha- 

i Mr. H. C. Ray has contributed a paper to the J.A.S.B. (New series, Vol. XVIII, 
1922, No. 4), on the same subject, but my chapter was written independently for this 
volume and it contains some matters not noticed in Mr. Ray's monograph. 

* Vedic Index, II, p. 123. 

8 iii. 7, i, S.B.E. 15, 132. 


yani said, " We wandered about as students, and came to the 
house of Patancala Kapya." [ These facts prove unmistak- 
ably that the Madras held a high place among the Vedic 

In the Aitareya Brahmana (VIII. 14.3), we find the 
mention of a section of the Madra people, the Uttara, or the 
northern Madras who lived beyond the Himalayas (pareya 
HimavantaiH) in the northern regions close to the Uttara- 
Kurus ; Uttara-Madra is supposed by scholars * to have been 
located in Kashmir. 

In the Ramayana we read that Sugrlva sent monkies to 
the Madrakas and other tribes in quest of 
Loca ^?erSces? rly Sita. 8 In the Visnupurana mention is 
made of Madra along with Arama, Para- 
sika and others.* In the Matsya Purana, Madra is mentioned 
along with Gandhara, Yavana and others. B In the same Pura- 
na, reference is made to King Aswapati of Sakala in the kingdom 
of the Madras. 6 Madda is not mentioned in the list of sixteen 
mahajanapadas in the Buddhist literature. Some suppose 
that Madda was also called Vahlika. 1 The Madras held 
the central parts of the Punjab. 8 The country they occupied 
lay between the Ravi and the Chenab.' They appear in 
the epic to have occupied the district of Sialkot between the 

Br. Upanisad, iii, 3, i, S.B.E., 15, 127. 

Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, p. 102. 

Ramayana (Griffith's translation) Additional Notes, p. 43- 

Second Anka, Chap. 3, 17. * Chap. 1 14, 41- 

Chap. 208, 6l. 5. 1 N. L. Dey, Geographical Dictionary, p. 49- 

Early History of India, V. A. Smith, p. 286. 

N. t. Dey, Geographical Dictionary, p. 49 ; J.R.A.S., 1897, p. 889. 


rivers Chenab and Ravi (Cambridge History of India, Ancient 
India, pp. 549-550). India is, according to one description, 
divided into nine divisions (nava khanda). This was the 
description first given by the astronomers, ParaSara and 
Varahamihira and it was also adopted by the authors of 
several of the Puranas. According to this arrangement, 
Madra was the chief district of the north. 1 In the Brhat- 
samhita of Varahamihira, mention is made of the Madra 
tribe.* It is evident from the Allahabad Pillar Inscription 
that Madra lay by the side of the territory of the Yaudheyas." 
The Madra kingdom is mentioned in the Bhismaparva of the 
Mahabharata.* Panini mentions it in his grammar (II. 3. 73 ; 
IV. 4. 67). Its capital was Sagala or Sakala in which form 
the name occurs in the Mahabharata (ii. 1196, viii. 2033). 
Sakala has been identified by General Cunningham with 
Sangla-wala-Tiba, to the west of the Ravi (Ancient Geo- 
graphy of India, p. 180). Cunningham holds that 6akala 
is still known as Madra-dea or the district of the Madras, 
which is said by some to extend from the Bias to the Jhelum 
but by others only to the Chenab. b T. W. Rhys Davids says 
that Cunningham thought that he (Cunningham) had found 
the ruins of it ; but no excavations have been carried out, 
and the exact site is still therefore uncertain. It lay about 
32 N by 74 E. 6 

1 Cunningham, Ancient Geography of India, pp. 5-6. 

* Kern, Brhatsambita, p. 92. 

R. C. Majumdar, Corporate Ufe in Ancient India, p. 272. 

* Bliismapanra, Chap. IX, p. 822. 

' Cunningham, Ancient Geography, p. 185. Buddhist India, p. 39- 


It appears from Hwui-lih that the pilgrim Hiueu 
Tsiang went to Sakala. 1 The old town 

Chinese account. Q{ g.^ ^y. according to 

the great pilgrim, is about 20 li in circuit. Although its 
walls are thrown down, the foundation is still firm and strong. 
In the midst of it a town of about 6 or 7 li in circuit has been 
built, 2 There is in Sakala a Sangharama with about one 
hundred priests who study the little vehicle. In old days 
Vasubandhu (Shi-t'sin) Bodhisatta composed in this place 
the treatise called Shing-i-tai (Paramarthasatya astra). 
By the side of the convent of the stupa about 200 feet high, 
on this spot the four former Buddhas preached the law, and 
here again are the traces of their walking to and fro. To the 
north-west of the Sangharama, 5 or 6 li is a stupa, about 
200 feet high built by ASoka-raja. Here also the four past 
Buddhas preached. About 10 li to the north-east of the new 
capital, we come to a stflpa of stone about 200 feet in height 
built by ASoka. 8 

The Milinda-panho gives a splendid description of the 
Madra capital. There is a great centre of trade called Sagala, 
the famous city of yore in the country of the Yonakas. Sagala 
is situated in a delightful country well- 
watered and hilly, abounding in parks 
Pafiho - an d gardens, groves, lakes and tanks, a 

paradise of rivers and mountains and woods. Wise architects 
have laid it out. Brave is its defence, with many strong 

i Bed's Records of the Western World, Vol. I, p. 166, f.n. 5. 
* Ibid, Vol. I, p. 167. 
Ibid. Vol. I, p. 172. 


towers and ramparts, with superb gates and entrance arch- 
ways and with the royal citadel in its midst, white-walled 
and deeply moated. Well laid out are its streets, squares, 
cross roads and market places. Its shops are filled with 
various costly merchandise. It is richly adorned with 
hundreds of alms-halls of various kinds and splendid with 
hundreds of thousands of magnificent mansions. Its streets 
are filled with elephants, horses, carriages and foot passengers, 
frequented by the group of handsome men and beautiful 
women and crowded by men of all sorts and conditions, 
brahmanas, nobles, artificers and servants. They resound 
with cries of welcome to the teachers of every creed and the 
city is the resort of the leading men of each of the different 
sects. Shops are there for the sale of Benares muslin, of 
Kotumbara stuffs and of other cloths of various kinds, and 
sweet odours are exhaled from the bazars where all sorts of 
flowers and perfumes are tastefully set out. Jewels are 
there in plenty and guilds of traders in all sorts of finery 
display their goods in the bazars that face all quarters of the 
sky. So full is the city of money and of gold and silver ware, 
of copper and stone ware, that it is a mine of dazzling treasures. 
And there is laid up there much store of property and corn 
and things of value in warehouses, foods and drinks of every 
sort, syrups, and sweetmeats of every kind. In wealth 
it is the rival of Uttara-Kuru and in glory it is as Alaka- 
manda, the city of Gods. 1 Its inhabitants are prosperous 
and rich.* 

J Questions of Mtyinda (S.B.E.), pt. I, pp. 1-3. 
* Records of the Western World, Vol. I, p. 167. 


According to the evidence borne by the Sanskrit Epics and 
Pali Jatakas, the Madras were ksatriyas belonging to the 
warrior caste, 1 and entered into matri- 
monial alliance with the ksatriya dynas- 
ties of the Gangetic kingdoms. The great Kuru king, Pandu 
married the Madra princess, Madri, as we shall show below, 
and besides, from the Adiparva of the Mahabharata, we learn 
that Pariksit married Madravatl and Janamejaya and 
others were born to him by her. 1 

The Jatakas bear ample testimony to the fact that the 
Madra princesses were sought in marriage by the great 
ksatriya houses of northern India. Thus we read in the 
Kusa- Jataka : The King of Madda had seven daughters, "of 
extraordinary beauty, like to nymphs of heaven." The 
eldest of them was called Pabhavatl. Rays of light streamed 
forth from her person. King Okkaka sent his emissaries to 
the Madda king. They told the Madda king that their king 
had a son, the bold prince Kusa, to whom he had intended 
to make over his kingdom, and had sent them to ask him 
(Madda king) to give his daughter Pabhavatl in marriage to 
his son. The Madda king was glad 'thinking an alliance with 
so noble a king would be an auspicious one/ He consented. 
King Okkaka with a great retinue set out from KusSvati and 
in course of time reached the city of Sagala. He was received 
with great honour. Pabhavatl was then given in marriage 
to Kusa, son of King Okkaka. The two kingdoms, Madda 
and Kusavati were thus united by matrimonial alliance. 8 

1 Jataka (Cowell), Vol. IV, pp. 144 145. * Chap. 95, p. 105. 

* Jataka (Cowell), Vol. V.pp. 146-147. 


The same story of the union of Prince KuSa of the 
great Ik^vaku family with a Madra princess, is also told in 
the Mahavastu-Avadana with some variations. At Benares, 
the Mahavastu tells us, there was a king named KuSa who 
belonged to the Iksvaku family. One day he approached his 
mother, Alindadevi and asked her to bring for him the most 
beautiful bride. The ministers in quest of a beautiful 
girl, reached the city of Kanyakubja in the kingdom of 
Sarasena where the Madra king, Mahendra ruled. They saw 
one day his beautiful daughter and thinking her to be the 
best possible selection, they approached her father who 
readily consented to give her in marriage to king Kusa of 
Benares. But king Kusa's appearance was repulsive and he 
had many defects in his body. His wife Sudarsana dis- 
covered the defects in him and with the permission of her 
mother-in-law, she left Benares for Kanyakubja. In the 
meantime king Kua returning to his palace could not see his 
beloved wife. He left the kingdom leaving his brother 
KuSadruma in charge of it and he at once started for Kanya- 
kubja. Kua reached the palace of his father-in-law and 
tried by various means to get favour from his wife, e.g., by 
preparing garlands, by making earthen pots, ornaments but 
all such things were rejected by Sundar&ma. He then 
entered the kitchen of the king as a cook and prepared an 
excellent soup. The king after taking the soup enquired 
of the cook and praised him much. In the meantime seven 
k?atriya kings of the neighbouring countries came to win 
the married daughter of the Madra king but they were 
refused. Then'KuSa by his own power drove away all the 


seven kings and after saving his father-in-law's kingdom, he 
came back to his own kingdom with his wife. The Madra 
king, Mahendra, being advised by his son-in-law, Ku&i, gave 
his seven daughters in marriage to the seven kings who came 
to attack him and thereby the Madra king strengthened 
his position (Mahavastu, Vol. II, p. 440 foil.). 

From the Kalinga-Bodhi Jataka we observe that even 
a prince of the royal hou&e of Kalinga in the far east sought 
the hand of a princess of the Madra country. In the king- 
dom of Madda and in the city of Sagala, a daughter was 
born to the king of Madda. It was foretold that the girl 
should live as an ascetic but her son would be an universal 
monarch. The kings of India heard of this prediction and 
surrounded the city. The king of Madda could not give his 
daughter in marriage to one of them to incur the wrath of 
others. So he fled to a forest with his wife and daughter. 
In this forest lived Prince Kalinga. One day while the 
prince was coming out of the river, a flower- wreath caught in 
his hair. The prince thought that the wreath must have been 
made by a tender young girl. He began to search for her. 
So deeply in love he journeyed up the Ganges until he heard 
her singing in a sweet voice, as she sat on a mango-tree. The 
prince came there and learnt from her that she was a khattiya. 
He told her that he was also of the warrior caste. They 
repeated to each other their secrets. The princess then 
came down and returning home told her patents everything 
about the son of the king of Kalinga. They consented to give 
her to the prince. The prince married the girl. A matri- 
monial alliance was thus established between the king of 


Madda and the king of Kaliftga. 1 In the Chaddanta Jataka 
we find that the royal houses of Benares and Madra were 
allied with each other through matrimony. Subhadda, the 
daughter of the chief queen-consort in the Madda kingdom 
was given in marriage to the king of Benares.* Candadevi, 
the daughter of the king of the Maddas, was the chief queen 
of a Kairaja who had no sons. The king asked her to pray 
for a son. The queen was devoted to good work and used 
to lead a purely virtuous and religious life. Through the 
power of her piety, Sakka granted her prayer and in due 
course she pleased the crown and the country with a son. 3 
The great Ceylonese chronicle records an alliance between 
a Madra princess and a prince of eastern India. We are 
told that in Sihapura, on the death of King Sihavahu, his 
son Sumitta became king. He married the daughter of the 
Madda king and had three sons by her.* 

The Madras, according to the Arthasastra of Kautilya, 

were a corporation of warriors and lived by 
Col CuJ^h8. and the title of a r J a (Rajasabdopajlvinah).' 

The Mahabharata tells us that it was a 
custom of the Madras to give their daughters in marriage on 
taking a fee (ulka). This was their family custom. 6 The 
marriage proposal was first made by the bridegroom's party to 
the bride's party. When Pandu, the Kuru prince, won the 
hand of KuntI, the daughter of a Bhoja king in a Svayamvara 
(the ceremony of a woman choosing her husband), Bhisma 

i Jataka (Cowell) Vol. IV, pp. 144-145. * Jataka, Vol. V, p. 22. 

8 Jataka, Vol. VI, p. I. * Mahavathsa, translated by Geiger, p. 62. 

* Kautilya, Arthasastra, p. 455. Mahabharata, Sdiparva, Chap. 113, p. 119. 


wished to have him married once again. Then he set out with 
ministers, old brahmins and sages and came to the city of the 
Madra king named Salya of the Valhika dynasty. He asked 
the king to give his sister in marriage to Pandu. The Madra 
king said, "O great-minded one: matrimonial relation with 
your family is always desirable but we have a family custom 
that we should give girls in marriage on taking a fee (sulka). 
I cannot ignore that custom." Bhi$ma consented and gave 
to the Madra king much wealth as fee for the bride and the 
Madra king too decorated his sister with various ornaments 
and gave her to Bhisma. Bhi?ma brought her to Hastina- 
pura. In an auspicious moment the marriage ceremony was 
performed. Madrl became the wife of Pandu. 1 Two sons 
were born to her and they were named Nakula and Sahadeva. 1 
In the great epic, we have further details of Salya, the 
heroic king of the Madras. On the eve 

Legendary History- 

The story of Saiya, of the Kuruk^etra war, messengers were 

king of the Madras. sent t() him for hdp by YudhlSthira. 

The Madra king, when he learnt from the messengers that 
King Yudhigthira had welcomed him, set out with his brave 
sons and a huge army. His army went on occupying the 
space of half a yojana, with various weapons, decorated with 
dress and ornaments. Duryodhana heard of this and intend- 
ing to win the powerful alliance of the Madra sovereign, 
received him on the way. In order to give him a suitable 
ovation, he arranged many meetings, amusements, festivities, 
etc. He caused many good wells, lakes and water-places to be 

i Mahabharata, Adiparva, Chap. 113, p. 119. a ibid, Chap. 95. p. 105. 


dug. Salya was highly pleased with him and asked him to 
pray for his boon . Duryodhana prayed for his help in the en- 
suing Kuruk?etra war. King Salya consented, but on reach- 
ing the field of battle, he said everything to Yudhisthira who 
said, "You should not break your promise, but I have a 
prayer which you will have to fulfil. When Karna and 
Arjuna will fight, you will, in the capacity of Kama's 
charioteer, protect Arjuna." King Salya agreed to do this. 1 
He then came to Duryodhana with his entire army consisting 
of 109,350 foot, 65,610 horses, 21,870 chariots and 21,870 
elephants to help him.* He had a golden plough in front of 
his chariot. 8 

Early in the morning, before going to fight, the kings 
after bathing and wearing white garments, and offering 
sacrifices in the fire and taking up their weapons, went to 
fight. The Madra king, Salya, went to the battle, being 
guided by Duryodhana. 4 There he guarded the left side of 
the army of Dhrtara?tra. b Being defeated by the Panda vas, 
Duryodhana piteously appealed to Madraraja to stop the 
activity of King Yudhisthira. The Madra king went towards 
Yudhisthira in a chariot. King. Yudhisthira attacked his 
army. King Yudhisthira cast ten arrows that struck him in 
the breast and Nakula and Sahadeva pierced him with seven - 
arrows. The Madra king, Salya, pierced each of them with 
three arrows and again with sixty arrows he pierced 

' Mahabharata, Udyogaparva, Chap, VIII, pp. 633-634. 

* Ibid, Chap. XIX, pp. 641-642. s ibid, Dronaparva, Chap. 103 p. 1064. 

* Ibid, Udyogaparva, Chap. XIX, p. 807. 
t Bhismaparva, Chap. LX, pp. 924-925. 


Yudhisthira. Thus when Yudhisthira and the two sons of 
Madri were tired by the Madra king, Bhlgma came there and 
began to fight vehemently. 1 At last the Madra soldiers 
were killed by Arjuna in the Kuruksetra war.* 

The legend of Savitri and Satyavan so popular all over 
India, is connected with the Madra country. In the Vana- 
parva of the Mahabharata we read that there was a Madra 
king named Asvapati who observed many vows to have 
children. He worshipped Savitrl who later on appeared 
before him. He asked for the boon of having children. A 
daughter was afterwards born to him by his chief queen, 
Malavi. This daughter was named Savitrl who grew up 
and selected Satyavan as her husband. Narada objected 
by saying that Satyavan would not live long and hence she 
should not choose him as her husband but Savitrl resolved 
to marry him. Shortly afterwards Satyavan died on her 
lap. Yama came to take away the dead body. Savitrl 
followed Yama and at last she succeeded in winning the 
boon of getting back her dead husband. She actually got 
back her departed husband. It is also stated there that 
Savitri had one hundred sons and her father ASvapati too 
had the like number of sons. (Mahabharata Vanaparva, 
Chaps. 291-298, pp. 509-523, Maharaja of Burd wan' sedition.) 
In the city of Sakala, Alexander found the second 
Paurava king, whose dominions he an- 
Authentic History. nexe( j to fl^ satrapy of his relation and 

rival, the great Paurava, who ruled over the adjacent 

Mahabharata, Bhismaparva, Chaps. CV-CVI, p. 974. 
Ibid, Karnaparva, Chaps. V-VI, pp. 1167-1169. 



territory between the Jhelum and the Chenab. We may 
conclude then that the kings of the Madras claimed to be 
Purus and that their dominions together with their capital, 
Sakala, twice passed under the sway of the Yavanas under 
Alexander and under his successor, Menander. At a later 
date, in the early part of the sixth century A.D., Sakala 
became the capital of the Huna conqueror, Mihirakula. 1 

In the course of the two or three centuries following 
the death of the founder of Buddhism, the religion had 
spread to the extreme west of India from the north- 
eastern districts, no doubt specially owing to the powerful 
proselytising zeal of the great Maurya Emperor Asoka. We 
find Menander (Milinda) a powerful Greek king, ruling over 
the country, becoming a convert to Buddhism. Milinda 
was the king of Sakala or Sagala. He wa?, to quote the 
words of the Milinda Paiiho, learned, eloquent, wise 
and able, a faithful observer and that at the right time, of all 
various acts of devotion and ceremony enjoined by his own 
sacred hymns concerning things past, present and future. 
He knew various arts and sciences, holy tradition and secular 
law ; the Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya and Vai&esika systems of 
philosophy; arithmetic, music, medicine, the four Vcdas, 
the Puranas and the Itihasas, astronomy, magic, causation 
and spells, the art of war; poetry and conveyancing. In 
a word, he knew all the nineteen kinds of Silpas or Sippas. 
(Arts and Sciences.) 4 During his reign, the people knew of 
no oppression since all their enemies and adversaries had been 

i Cambridge History of India, pp. 549- 5 50. 

* The Questions' of King Milinda (S.B.E.) pt. I, p. 6. 


put down. He had lively discussions with Nagasena on 
various topics, e.g. continuous identity, re-birth, ego, etc., 
which are all embodied in a Pali Buddhist work, the Milinda- 

Even before this King Sakala seems to have come under 
Buddhist influence. 

In the records of the early Brothers and Sisters also, 
we find mention of some of them coming from the Madra 
country, Bhadda Kapilam was born in the family of a 
Brahmin of the Kesiya clan at Sagala, which, according to 
the Apadana, was a capital of the Macldas or Madras. She 
with her husband obtained ordination and afterwards became 
a Therl. (Psalms of the Sisters, p. 48.) It is stated in the 
Theragatha that the same lady was born as a chief wife of 
the Kosiya-gotta Brahmin at Sagala in the kingdom of 
Madda. (Psalms of the Brethren, p. 359.) 

The Madras used to pny taxes to Samudra Gupta as we 
learn from the fact that Samudragupta's imperious commands 
were fully gratified by the Madras and others giving all kinds 
of taxes and obeying his orders and coming to perform 
obeisance. ' 

From the records of the travels of the great Chinese 
pilgrim Hiuen Tsang, we get a fairly detailed account of the 
political activities in North-western India about the time 
that he came, and from his account also, the Huns under 
Mahirakula appear to have been in possession of the Madra 

J Corpus Inscriptionuin Indicarura, Vol. Ill, p. 14, Gupta Inscriptions, Texts 
and Translations. 


country. Some centuries ago, we read in his records, there 
was in the town of Sakala, a king named Mo-hi-lo-kiu-lo 
(Mahirakula), who established his authority in this town 
and ruled over India. He was of quick talent and natural!} 7 
brave. He subdued all the neighbouring provinces without 
exception. In his intervals of leisure he desired to examine 
the law of the Buddha, and he commanded that one among 
the priests of superior talent should wait on him. But none 
of the priests ventured to attend to his command. At this 
time there was in the king's household an old servant who 
had been a monk for a long time and had made a name for 
his eloquence and ability to enter on discussion. He 
was sent to the king to answer his questions. The king was 
enraged and lost his respect for the priesthood. He ordered 
his men to destroy all the priests through the five Indies, 
to overthrow the law of the Buddha and to leave nothing 

Baladitya-raja, king of Magadha, heard of the cruel 
persecution and atrocities of Mahirakula and refused to pay 
tribute after strongly guarding the frontiers of his kingdom. 
When he heard that Mahirakula was marching against him, 
he fled to the islands of the sea. His soldiers too followed 
him. Mahirakula left his army to the charge of his younger 
brother and himself embarked on the sea to attack Baladitya 
but was captured by the soldiers of Baladitya. 

Mahirakula overcome with shame at his defeat covered 
his face with his robe. He was brought to the presence of 
Baladitya' s mother at whose request he removed his mantle 
and showed his face. King Baladitya, as ordered by his 


mother, gave Mahirakula in marriage to a young maiden. 
Mahirakula came back to his kingdom but found his brother 
on the throne. He then went to Kashmir where he was 
received with honour by the king. After some years he 
succeeded in killing the king and placing himself on the 
throne. Then he plotted against the kingdom of Gandhara. 
He killed all the members of the royal family and the chief 
minister, overthrew the stupas, and destroyed the saii- 
gharamas. Then he took the wealth of the country he had 
destroyed, assembled his troops and returned. 1 The Chinese 
traveller also adds that he caused the demolition of one 
thousand six hundred topes and monasteries and put to death 
nine kotis of lay adherents of Buddhism. 2 

It appears that the kingdom of Madra continued till 
the ninth century A.D., when we find the Madras as the allies 
of Dharmapala, the monarch of Bengal, who with the assent 
of the Madras and other northern powers dethroned Indra- 
raja, the king of Pancala. 8 

' Beal's Records of the Western World, Vol. I, pp. 165-172. 

* Watters, On Yuan Chwang, Vol. I, p. 289. 

* V. A. Smith's Early History of India, p. 39*. 


The Kambojas appear to have been one of the early 
Vedic tribes . The earliest mention occurs 
T ^c m me J A S tu%! he in a list of ancient Vedic teachers given 
in the VarhSa Brahmana of the Samaveda 
where we find one of the teachers in the line to be Kamboja 
Aupamanyava, that is, Kamboja, the son of Upamanyu. 
(VarhSa Brahmana, edited by Pundit Satyavrata Samasraml.) 
We are told that the sage Anandaja received the Vedic learn- 
ing from Samba, the son of Sarkaraksa and also Kamboja, 
the son of Upamanyu. We do not know under what circum- 
stances Anandaja received the Vedic lore from two teachers, 
as one teacher is the usual rule, and we can only be certain 
that they must have been very special. From the order in 
which the names are given, Samba appears to have been the 
first teacher and later the Kamboja teacher must have been 
approached, perhaps because the latter was marked by some 
special pre-eminence in Vedic learning. We lay stress on this 
fact as it shows that the Kambojas, in early Vedic times, 
must have been a Vedic Indian people and not Iranian as has 
been supposed by several scholars. Coming back to the list of 
Vedic teachers we meet again with an important fact, viz., 
that both the teachers of Anandaja, Samba Sarkaraksa and 
Kamboja Auparnanyava, had received their own education 
in Vedic lore from the same sage, viz., Madragara Saungayani, 


whose name itself shows, as scholars have pointed out (Vedic 
Index, I, p. 138) that he belonged to the Madra people. This 
connection between the Madras and the Kambojas is but 
natural, as they were close neighbours in the north-western 
part of India. 

The Kambojas are not mentioned in the Rgveda, but 
indirect evidence may justify the assumption that they 
were included among the Vedic Aryans in the Rgvedic era. 
A sage Upamanyu is mentioned in a hymn of the Rgveda 
(Rgveda I. 102, 9), as Ludwig has pointed out (Translation 
of the Rgveda, III, 113), and it is not quite unreasonable 
to conjecture that he may have been the father of the Kam- 
boja teacher mentioned in the Vaiiisa Brahmana list. A 
possible connection like this is suggested by Zimmer (Alt- 
iridisches Leben, p. 102). Whatever may be the value of 
these cenjectures, the fact stands out without any possible 
doubt that a sage from among the Kamboja people, had found 
a place in the list of the great ancient teachers by whom 
the Vedic lore was kept up and handed on, and there is no 
room for any hesitation in saying that the Kambojas in 
Vedic times formed an important section of the Vedic Indian 

The next important mention of the Kambojas is in a 
passage of Yaska's Nirukta 1 which shows 

that the y s P ke a dialect of the Vedic 

tongue differing in some respects from the 

1 < Savatirgatikarma Kamvojesveva bhasyate Kamvojah Kamvalabhojah 
Kamaniyabhojava Kamvala h Kamaniyo bhavati Vikaramasyaryesu bhaayante 
savaiti." (Nirukta, II. 8.) 


standard language which in Yaska' s time was apparently the 
language of the Madhyadega, the region about the Ganges- 
Jumna Doab. Yaska points out that the verb 'Savati' was 
used in its original radical meaning of 'going/ among the 
Kambojas, while only a derivative from the same root, viz. 
Sava, was used in the standard dialect in which the verbal 
significance had gone out of use. This has been supposed 
to support a non-Indian and Iranian connection of the 
Kambojas, but without any valid reason. The Kambojas 
appear from Yaska's remarks to have been a vedic people 
who had retained the original radical sense of an ancient 
verb amongst them, while it was lost among other sections 
of the same people separated from them by geographical 

Sir George Grierson holds that without discussing the 
correctness of the statement that Sava has a connection 
with Savathi, we can gather from this that Yaska thinks 
that the Kambojas were not Aryans and that they spoke 
Sanskrit but with dialectic variations of vocabulary. Savathi 
does not occur in Sanskrit at all but it is an Iranian word. 
There is the old Persian Vsiyar and the Avesta Nsav, 
Savaite, to go. To sum up, Sir George is of opinion that 
the Kambojas, a barbarous tribe of North-western India, 
either spoke Sanskrit with an infusion of Iranian words to 
which they gave Indian inflexions or else spoke a language 
partly Indo- Aryan and partly Iranian. 1 

Ya^ka also attempts, though we must say with indifferent 

J.R.A.S. 1911, pp. 801-802. 


success, a philological explanation of the name Kamboja. 
He connects the word with Kambala, 'a blanket.' He says 
that the Kambojasare so called, because they were Kambala- 
bhojas, that is, were characterised by the use of Kambalas 
or blankets, which they certainly had to do on account of the 
great cold in the north-western highlands that they occupied. 
Yaska again looks for a root from which to derive the word 
Kamboja, and he found the root Kam, which might be requi- 
sitioned to offer a derivation, and he suggests that the Kam- 
bojas may have been so called because they were Kamamya- 
bhojas or ' enjoyers of pleasant things, ' and adds that a Kam- 
bala is a pleasant thing; there can be no doubt that the 
warm blanket, Kambala, was a pleasant thing to a people 
living in a rigorous climate like the Kambojas, but scholars 
will always doubt how far Yaska has been successful in 
establishing a philological relationship of the root Kam 
with the word Kambala and of these two again with the tribal 
designation, Kamboja. 

The Kambalas or blankets manufactured by the Kam- 
bojas are referred to in the Mahabharata which tells us that 
at the great Rajasuya sacrifice, the Kamboja king presented 
to Yudhisthira "many of the best kinds of skins, woollen 
blankets, blankets made of the fur of animals living in 
burrows in the earth, and also of cats all inlaid with threads 
of gold ; " l and again, we read a little earlier, " The king of 
Kamboja sent to him hundreds and thousands of black, 

l Mahabharata, Sabhaparva, Chap. 51, 3. "Aur?ag vailay Varsadath&a? 
jatarupa pariskritan pravarajinamukhyaiiiSca Kambojah pradadau bahup." 


dark and red skins of the deer called Kadali and also 
blankets (Kambalas) of excellent texture." 1 

The next mention, chronologically speaking, of the 

Kamboja people is that made by Panini. 

A sfltra of Panini (IV. I. 175) has 

Kambojal=luk, which, says Dr. D. R. 
Bhandarkar, lays down that the word Kamboja denotes not 
only the Kamboja country or the Kamboja tribe but also 
the Kamboja king. But then there are other words 
which are exactly like Kamboja in this respect but which 
Panini has not mentioned. Katyayana is, therefore, 
compelled to supplement the above sutra with the Vartika, 
Kambojadibhyo = lug vachanam Chodadyartham. This 
means that like Kamboja, the words Chocla, Kadera 
and Kerala denote each not only the country and the tribe 
but also the king.* 

T. W. Rhys Davids says that Kamboja was a country 

in the extreme north-west of India with 

Location of Kamboja. ^ . . . _ 

Dvaraka as its capital.' Dr. S. K. 
Aiyangar agrees with T. W. Rhys Davids in fixing the Kam- 
boja capital at Dvaraka, and places it in the territory answer- 
ing to the modern Sindh and Gujarat.* Dr. P. N. Banerjee 
too in his Public Administration in Ancient India assigns 
Kamboja to a country near modern Sindh with its capital 
at Dvaraka.* In Dhammapala's commentary on the Peta- 

J Mahabharata, Sabhaparva, Chap. 48, 19. 

Dr. D. R. Bhandarkar, Carmichitl Lectures, 1918, pp. 6-7. 

* Buddhist India, p. 28. 

* S. K. Aiyaugar, Ancient India, p. 7. k p. 56. 


vatthu, Dvaraka occurs along with Kamboja but it is not 
distinctly stated there that it is the capital of Kamboja. 1 
V. A. Smith seems to place the Kambojas among the moun- 
tains either of Tibet or of the Hindu Kush.* Smith further 
says that the Kambojas or Kambojas are supposed to have 
spoken an Iranian tongue. (Early History of India, p. 184 
and p. 184, f.n.) According to McCrindle, Kamboja was 
Afghanistan, the Kaofu (Kambu) of Hiuen Tsiang. (Me 
Crindle, Alexander's Invasion, p. 38.) Mr. R. D. Banerjee 
refers to a Kamboja or Cambodia on the east side of Sama- 
tata. 3 iiut it can hardly be our Kamboja mahajanapada 
which is invariably associated with Gandhara. Dr. D. R. 
Bhandarkar holds, "It is very difficult to locate Kamboja. 
According to one view, they were a northern Himalayan 
people, and according to another, the Tibetans. But in our 
period, they were probably settled to the north-west of the 
Indus and are the same as Kambujiya of the old Persian 
inscriptions. Their capital is not known."* In the Vedic 
Index it is stated that they were settled to the north-west 
of the Indus and were the Kambujiya of the old Persian 
inscriptions as Dr. Bhandarkar points out. According to 
Sir Charles Eliot, the Kambojas were probably Tibetans. 6 
In another volume of the same work, Sir Charles calls them an 
ambiguous race who were perhaps the inhabitants of Tibet or 

' Faramattaadlpanz on the Petavatthu, P.T.S., p. 113; vide also my "The 
Buddhist Conception of Spirits, p. 81 foil. 

* Early History of India, p. 184. 
^ Vaiigalar Itihasa, Vol. I, p. 95. 

* D. R. Bhandarkar, Carmichacl Lectures, 1918, pp. 54-55* 
b Hinduism and Buddhism, Vol. I, p. 268. 


its border lands. Mr. Foucher in his Iconographie Bauddhi- 
que points out that the Nepalese tradition applies the name 
KambojadeSa to Tibet. 1 In the opinion of Sir George Gri- 
erson, the Kambojas were a north-western tribe frequently 
mentioned in the Sanskrit literature. 4 Doubtful would be 
the attempt to connect Cambyses (O. P. Ka (m) bujiya) 
with the frontier people of Kamboja. 3 Dr. H. C. Ray 
Chaudhuri points out that from a passage of the Mahabharata 
we learn that a place called Rajapura was the home of the 
Kambojas (Mahabharata, VII, 4-5, "Kama Rajapuram 
gatva Kamboja nirjitastvaya."). The association of the 
Kambojas with the Gandharas enables us to identify this 
Rajapura with Rajapura of Hiuen Tsang (Watters, Yuan 
Chwang, Vol. I, p. 284), which lay to the south or south-east 
of Punach. (Political History of India from the accession 
of Parikshit to the coronation of Bimbisara, p. 77.) We 
quite agree with Dr. Ray Chaudhuri in identifying the Kam- 
boja mahajanapada with Rajapura. 

Panini belonged to the north-western quarter of India 
and hence had an accurate knowledge of the customs and dress 
of the Kambojas. The Mayuravyamsakadi gana of Panini 
speaks of the Kambojas as mundas or shaven-headed. 
Apparently the Kambojas were in the practice of shaving 
their heads clean, as would also appear from a passage quoted 
by Raghunandana from the Harivama and pointed out by 
Max Muller. "The Sakas (Scythians) have half their head 
shorn, the Yavanas (Greeks?) and Kambojas the whole, 

p. 134- * J.R.A.S., 1911, p. 8ox. 

8 The Cambridge History of India, Ancient India, p. 334. f.n. 


tliat the Paradas (inhabitants of Paradene) wear their hair 
free, and the Pahlavas (Persians) wear beards. " l 

Coming to the Pali Buddhist literature we find the 
Kamboja country spoken of in many places in the canonical 
text as one of the sixteen great states (mahajanapadas) that 
were most prominent in India about the time that the Buddha 
flourished. Kamboja is one of the sixteen mahajanapadas 
mentioned in the Anguttara Nikaya of the Sutta Pitaka. 

e m erit acquired 

Kamboja-a great 

janapada of ancient by one observing the eight precepts is 
worth sixteen times more than the 
sovereignty over any one of these mahajanapadas.* 

In the Harivamsa, we find that the people of Kamboja 
were formerly ksatriyas. It was Sagara 
who caused them to give up their own 
religion (Harivamsa, 14). If we read 
the verses 43 and 44 of Chapter X of the Manusamhita, we 
find that the following tribes of ksatriyas, namely, the Kam- 
bojas, the Sakas, the Yavanas and so forth have been 
gradually degraded to the condition of Sudras on account of 
their omission of the sacred rites and of their not consulting 
the Brahmanas. This shows that the Kambojas were 
ksatriyas who were degraded to the state of Sudras because 

i A History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature by Max Muller (Published by the 
1'anini office) p. 28. 

' Arddham Sakanarii Airaso muiiidayitva Vyasarjayat 
Ya van an arii girah sarvani Kambojanaiii tathaivaca 
Parada muktake&aca palhavah gmasrudharinah 
Nihsvadhyayavasatkarah kritastena mahatmana." 
J Anguttara Nikaya, Vol. I, p. 213; Ibid, Vol. IV, pp. 252-256, etc. 


they neglected the Brahmins. 1 The Arthaastra of Kautilya 
states that the corporations of warriors (ksatriyagrem) of 
Kamboja and some other countries lived by agriculture, 
trade and wielding weapons (VartaSastropajivin). From 
this statement also, it is clear that the Kambojas were 

The horses of Kamboja were famous throughout all 
periods of Indian history. In the 

The Kamboja horses. ^ t . . . , . . . 

Sumangalavilasini, Kamboja is spoken of 

as the home of horses (Kambojo assanaih ayatanaih).* The 
Great Epic is full of references to the excellent horses of Kam- 
boja. In the Sabhaparva we read that the king of Kamboja 
presented to Yudhisthira three hundred horses of variegated 
colours, speckled like the partridge and having fine noses 
like the Suka bird.* In the great battle fought on the field 
of Kuruksetra, the fast and powerful horses of Kamboja 
were of the greatest service. Thus we read in the account of 
the fifth day's battle that when Arjuna was pressing the 
Kuru army very hard and fear had struck the soldiers, f the 
great fast running horses coming from the Kamboja country' 
rendered great help to the Kauravas. b On the eighth day 
Iravan, the great Naga hero and son of Arjuna, delivered a 
fierce attack against the Kaurava army with a very large 
force of cavalry (hayasadi) mounted on the best horses of the 
Kambojas. 6 Again in the Dronaparva we read that "Studs 

i Biihler, Laws of Manu, S.B.E., p. csiv. 

* Arthasastra Translated by Shama Shastrl, p. 455. ^ Vol. I, p. 124. 

* Mahabharata, Sabhaparva, Chap. 51, 4. 

6 Ibid, Bhismaparva, Chap. 71, 13. Ibid, Chap, go, 3. 


of the Kamboja breed beautiful to look at and decked with 
the feathers of the suka bird, bore Nakula," l and Dhrstaketu, 
the king of the Chedis, "was carried by horses of Kamboja 
breed and of variegated hue." * Other princes on the field 
were also "borne by fleet studs of the best Kamboja breed." s 
In the Karnaparva also we find mention of a chariot drawn 
by horses of the best Kamboja breed.* The Sauptikaparva 
again tells us that Krsna was borne in a chariot drawn by 
horses of the best Kamboja breed decked with garlands of 
gold. 6 

The Jaina Uttaradhyayana Sutra tells us that a trained 
Kambojian horse exceeds all other horses in speed and no 
noise can frighten it.' j In the Campeyya Jataka we read 
that a king of Kasi was requested by a naga king to visit the 
nagabhavana. The king ordered to yoke well -trained 
Kamboja horses to the royal chariot. 1 Visnuvardhana, the 
real founder of Hoysala greatness, who later on became ruler 
of Mysore had Kamboja horses and he made the earth 
tremble with the tramp of his Kamboja horse/ In the 
copper-plate of Devapaladeva discovered at Monghyr, we 
find it stated in connection with the conquest of Devapala 
that young horses returned to Kamboja and were much 
delighted to see their beloved ones." Again in the Maha- 
vastu, a Mahayana Buddhist work, we find that a king 

l Mahabharata, Droiiaparva, Chap 22, 7. * Ibid, Chap. 22, 22 23. 

8 Ibid, Chap. 22, 42. * Ibid, Karnaparva, Chap. 38, 13. 

* Ibid, Sauptikaparva, Chap. 13,12. * Jaina Sutras, S.B.U., pt. II, p. 47. 
1 Jataka, (Paiisboll), Vol. IV, p. 464. * S. K. Aiyangar, Ancient India, p. 2 
" R. D. Banerjee, Vangalar Itihasa, pp. 179 1 80. 


ordered his ministers to get ready the decorated royal chariot 
yoked by well-trained excellent horses of Kamboja to see the 
abodes of the nagas. 1 All these go to show that Kambojian 
horses were excellent and fast runners. No doubt they were 
very much liked in ancient times. As stated above, the best 
Kamboja horses were so trained that no noise could frighten 
them. The Atthakatha on the Kunala Jataka furnishes 
us with the interesting piece of information that the Kam- 
bojas were in the habit of capturing horses in the forest by 
tempting them with acquatic vegetables which they be- 
smeared with honey. They used to enclose a space with fences 
having a door. When the horses used to come to drink 
water at the place where it was available, they were tempted 
by the smell of honey, and greedily took these acquatic 
vegetables. They then used to go to the arena, taking the 
grass besmeared with honey. When the horses entered the 
arena, they were caught by the Kambojas. (Jataka, Vol. V. 
p. 446.) 

In the Raghuvamsa, Kalidasa makes Raghu meet the 
Kambojas after defeating the Hunas on the bank of the 
Vanksu or the Oxus. We read there that the Kambojas 
being unable to meet the prowess of Raghu bowed low before 
him just as their walnut trees were bent down on account of 
Raghu' s elephants being tied to them. An immense treasure 
including excellent horses was offered as tribute to Raghu 
by the Kambojas, but even this did not rouse the pride of 
this king of Koala. a We are told by Kalidasa that after 

I Vol. II, p. 185. f Raghuvariiba, Chap. IV, Verses 69-70. 


defeating the Kambojas, Raghu mounted the Himalayas; 
he must, therefore, have met them on his return journey 
homewards from the banks of the Oxus, where, as we have 
seen, he had vanquished the Hunas. 

Among the ksatriya tribes in the great Epic the Kam- 
bojas occupy a prominent place. In the 
^ g thfM7hablraS? geographical enumeration of the peoples 
of India, the Kambojas are placed in the 
north. (Mahabharata, Bhlsmaparva, Chap. 9.) They 
were the allies of Duryodhana and by their bravery, 
and especially the prowess of their king, Sudaksina, they 
rendered great service to the Kuru side in the long drawn 
battle at Kuruksetra. Sudaksina was one of the few 
Maharathas or great heroes on the field. 

Drupada advised Yudhisthira to send messengers to the 
Kambojas and other tribes on the western frontiers for their 
assistance, 1 but the Pandavas do not appear to have succeeded 
in obtaining their alliance. Duryodhana was more success- 
ful, perhaps through the powerful influence of the Gandharas, 
whose king was his grandfather on the mother's side and 
whose Prince Sakuni was one of the most prominent actors 
in the Kuru-Pandava episode. We find Uluka, the messenger 
sent by Duryodhana to the Pandavas on the eve of the great 
battle, reporting to them the vaunt of Duryodhana whether 
the Pandavas could master courage to fight him, allied as 
he was with the Kambojas and other northern people,* 

' Kamvoja rislka ye ca pascimauupakasca ye' Mababharata, THyogaparva, 18. 
< ITdicya Karabojasakaih Khasaisca' Mahabharata, Udyogaparva. Chap. 160, 



among others. Duryodhana in his message, when finally 
summing up, also gives an important place to the Kambojas 
by placing them side by side with the greatest heroes on his 
side : thus he says that his immense army, " with Bhlsma 
as the current which cannot be crossed, with Drona as the 
alligator which cannot be approached, with Karna and 
Salya as a swarm of small fishes and Kamboja as the mouth 
giving out flames" was a veritable ocean. 1 

In the enumeration of great heroes on the Kuru-side, 
Bhisma extols the prowess of the Kamboja king, Sudaksina, 
of whom he says, " In my opinion Sudaksina of Kamboja is 
equal to one Ratha and he will fight in the battle with the 
enemy desiring the success of your objects. The prowess 
of this lion among the chariot-warriors exerted on your 
behalf, O best among kings, will be seen by the Kurus in 
battle as equal to that of Indra himself. The best of the 
chariot-warriors under him are strikers with fierce force. 
The Kambojas, O great king, will cover the land like a swarm 
of locusts." 1 

When the Kaurava army took up their position on the 
field, the Kambojas occupied the van of Duryodhana' s army 
along with the home forces of the Pauravas themselves. We 

1 ' Bhi?mavegaraaparyantarii Dronagrahadurasadam Karnasalyajhasavartan 
Kumbojavadava mukharii ' ' Mahabharata, Chap. 160, 40. 

* " Sudakgi^astu Kambojo Ratha ekaguno matah 

Tavartha siddhimakaflksan yotsyate samare paraih, 
Elasya Rathasiriihasya tavarthaiii rajasattaiha. 
Parakramath yathendrasya draksanti Kuravo yudhi 
Etasya RathavamSe hi tigmavegahpraharinah 
Kambojanaih Maharaja salabhanamivayatih."' 1 

(Udyogaparvam, Chap. 165, 1-3.) 


are told, "The Pauravas, the Kalingas and the Kambojas 
with their king, Sudaksina and Ksemadhanva and Salya 
took up their positions in front of Duryodhana. 1 ' ' 

When the fight thickened round Bhisma, Sudaksina, 
the king of the Kambojas, was in the thickest of the battle 
and fought the Pandava heroes when they made their onset. 
Sanjaya thus describes the fight, " O great king, Srutakarma 
attacked in that battle the great chariot-warrior, the mighty 
Sudaksina the king of the Kambojas. O king of kings, 
Sudaksina wounded that great chariot-warrior, the son of 
Sahadeva, but he could not make him waver; he stood 
as the Mainaka-mountain. Thereupon Srutakarma in great 
anger covered the great chariot- warrior of the Kambojas with 
countless arrows and mangled him in many parts of his body." l 

On the third day of the fight, when Bhisma arrayed his 
army in the Garuda-vyuha, the Kambojas occupied the tail 
or the hinder part,' and on the sixth day's fight they stood 
occupying the place at the head of the Makaravyuha, 
arrayed by Bhisma. 4 On the seventh day, they took up their 
position in their thousands by the side of Trigarta. 5 

1 "Tasya Pauravakalinga kambojah sasudaksinah , Ksemadhanva ca Salyasca 
tasthuh pramukhato Ralhah " (Mahabharata, Bhismaparva, Chap. 17, 26-7.) 

* " Sudaksmantu rajendra Kambojaiiam maharatham 

Srutakarma parakrdntaniabhyadravata samjuge 
Sudaksinastu samare sabadevim maharatham 
Viddhva nakampayata vai Mainakamiva parvataiu 
^rutakarma tatab kruddbab Kambojauaiii maharatham 
Sarairvahubhiranarcchaddaryanniva sarva^ab." 

(Mahabbarata, Bhismaparva, Chap. ,5, 66-68.) 
3 Mahabbarata, Bhismaparva, Chap. 56. 7. 
* Ibid, Chap. 75. 17. 6 Ibid, Chap. 87. 10. 


After the fall of the great Bhlsma when the reins of the 
Kuru army were placed in the hands of Drona, the Kam* 
bojas with Sudaksina at their head, were by his side l with 
their powerful horses. 

When Drona arrayed the Kuru army in a Garutfavyuha 
the Kambojas were placed by htm at the neck (grlva). 2 
Afterwards when Arjuna after the fall of his son, put forth 
his best energy and fought for all that he was worth to 
carry out his oath of taking the life of Jayadratha whom he 
took to be mainly responsible for the slaughter, then the 
Kamboja Prince Sudaksina with the battalions of the Kam- 
bojas stood in his way and delivered a fierce attack. Sudak- 
sina fought a duel with Arjuna and for once threw him 
into a swoon, but finally was overpowered and killed by him. 
The verses that describe him as he lay slain on the field 
of battle are interesting and testify to the opulence of the 
Kambojas and the soft and rich woollen clothes manufactured 
by them. Thus we read : " Thereafter the heroic Sudakshina, 
the son of the Kamboja king rushed against that slayer of 
foes, viz., Phalguna, being borne by fleet studs. At him, 
O Bharata, Pritha's son shot seven arrows, which penetrating 
through that hero, entered the surface of the earth. Pierced 
deep by those sharp arrows shot from the Gandiva bow, 
he in turn pierced Arjuna in battle with ten shafts furnished 
with the feathers of the Kanka bird. He once more pierced 

1 " Tettaxh prapaksah Kambojah Sudaksina purah sarah Yajurasvalrmahavegaifc 
sakaSca Yavanaih saha." (Mahabharata, Drogapanra, Chap. 7. 14). 

> $aka Yavanakpmbojastatha haifasapathasca ye grivayam gurasenastu darada 
Madrakaikayah (Ibid, Dro^aparva, 19. 7-) 


Vasudeva's son with three and Partha with five arrows, 
then, O Sir, Pritha's son bursting open his bow, cut down 
his standard; and the son of Pandu pierced him with a couple 
of vallas of exceeding sharpness. He also having pressed 
Pritha's son with three such arrows uttered a fierce yell. 
Thereafter the brave Sudakshina inflamed with rage hurled 
at the wielder of the Gandiva bow, a lance, dreadful, tied 
with bells and made wholly of iron. Having reached that 
mighty car-warrior Arjuna, that lance blazing like a mighty 
meteor and emitting scintillations of fire, penetrated through 
him and then fell down on the ground. Pierced deep with 
that lance, Arjuna was overwhelmed with a swoon. Then 
in an instant, that highly puissant hero recovering soon 
enough began to lick the corners of his mouth. Then Partha 
of inconceivable prowess pierced Sudakshina and his steeds, 
standards, bow and charioteer with ten narachas furnished 
with the feathers of the Kanka bird. And with innumerable 
other arrows he rendered the latter' s chariot useless and 
cut it to pieces. The son of Pandu then with an arrow of 
exceeding sharpness pierced on the chest of Sudakshina, the 
Kamboja ruler whose purpose and prowess had both been 
baffled. Then with his armour shattered, trembling in all 
his limbs, with his crown and Angadas falling off, that hero 
fell with head downwards like a flagstaff loosened from the 
socket. lyike a charming Karnikara tree in the spring grow- 
ing gracefully on the top of a hill, with beautiful branches, 
lying on the grove when uprooted by the te 
prince of the Kambojas lay on the bare grouse! 
of life, though acriistomed to sleeo on the mosru^" 


Adorned with precious ornaments, graceful, possessing eyes 
of coppery hue, wearing round the head, a tiara of gold 
radiant like the flames of fire, the mighty armed Sudakshina, 
the prince of the Kambojas, felled by Partha with his arrows, 
and lying dead on the ground, appeared beautiful like a charm- 
ing hill with a flat summit. Then beholding Srutayusha 
and the prince of the Kambojas slain in battle, all the soldiers 
of your son's army began to fly in all directions. 111 

In the fierce battle that took place the same day, when 
Satyaki, urged by Yudhisthira, was proceeding in the track 
of Arjuna, the Kambojas stopped him. Here we are told, 
"Yuyudhana emerging out of the divisions of the Bhojas, 
quickly proceeded against the strong host of the Kambojas. 
There he was opposed by many a heroic chariot- warrior 1 ; 
in consequence whereof, Satyaki of unbaffled prowess, could 
not move even one step forward/' 2 Then we are told that 
Satyaki slew thousands of the Kambojas, and "making a 
havoc among the Kambojas who were unconquerable in 
battle/ 18 he passed through the immense army of the 
Kambojas and made his advance.* 

Again when Karna took up the helm of the Kuru army, 
the Kambojas were there taking an active part, by the side 
of Karna, 6 and Sudaksina's younger brother who had ap- 
parently taken the lead among the Kambojas after the 

i The Mahabharata ( Vf. N. Dutta), Dronaparva, Chap. XCII, p. 136, Verses 61-75. 

* Mahabharata, Chap. Ill, 59-60. 

a ' Kambojasainyarti vidravya durjayaih yudhi-Bharata' Mahabharata, 

Dronaparva, 119. 51. 

* " Jalasandharnavaiiitirttva Kambojanafica vahinini "Ibid, Chap. 118, 9. 

* Mahabharata, Kar^aparva, Chap. 46, 15. 


valiant prince's death, also laid down his life in the Kuru 
cause. 1 Even after this prince's death, we hear of the 
Kambojas still delivering an attack on Arjuna/ 

When 6alya was at last placed in command of the 
remnant of the Kaurava host, we are told that the Kambojas 
had been slain," yet it appears that their immense host had 
not been exterminated, for we are told that when Salya 
arrayed the army in a vyuha, Asvatthama brought up the 
rear surrounded by the Kambojas.* 

Besides these we hear in the Adiparva of the Maha- 
bharata of a king named Candravarma who ruled in the 
kingdom of the Kambojas.' 

We thus find the Kambojas leading a very large power- 
ful army to the field of Kuruksetra and laying down their 
lives like valiant ksatriyas as they were. Afterwards it 
appears from the later sections of the Mahabharata, viz., 
the Santi and Anusasanika parvas, that their country had 
been overrun by barbarous hordes, so that the ancient 
ksatriya population was overwhelmed and absorbed by the 
new-comers and we find the Kambojas ranked with the 
Yavanas and looked upon as one of the barbarous peoples. 
Thus a verse in the Skntiparva enumerates the Kambojas 
along with many peoples that were not included among the 
Indo- Aryan Society 8 and in another chapter they are placed 
among the barbarous peoples of the Uttarapatha or the 

1 Mahabharata, Karuaparva, Chap. 56. 

* Ibid, Chap. 88. * Ibid, Salyaparva, Chap. I. 26. 

* Ibid, Salyaparva, Chap. 8, 25. < Ibid, Adiparva, Chap. 67. 
Ibid, &antiparva, Chap. 65, 14. 


northern regions. 1 The AnuSasanaparva speaks of the 
Kambojas as having been degraded to the rank of Madras 
for want of Brahmanas in their country.* All these passages 
show that the Kambojas in later times, no doubt, by admix- 
ture with barbarous hordes, were losing their Indo-Aryan 
culture and touch with Brahmanical society, and coming to 
be regarded as outside the Indo-Aryan social organisation 
when these two parvas or sections were added to the great 

In the Adi Kanda of the Ramayana, Chap. 58, we read 
that the Kambojas were created at the 

Legendary accounts J 

of Kamboja in the request of Vasistha by the divine cow 
Ramayana. gavala (20-24) . The Kiskindhya Kanda 

(Chap. 43) tells us that Sugriva sent a monkey named 
Sutavala to northern India in search of Kamboja and other 
countries. (11-12.) 

The Vayu Purana informs us that after killing the 
Haihayas, King Sagara was engaged in 
totaU y annihilating the Kambojas, 
Sakas, Yavanas, Pahlavas and so forth. 
Being oppressed by Sagara, all of them secured the help of 
Vai?tha. King Sagara who was true to his promise, listen- 
ing to the word of his spiritual guide, Vasistha, set the 
Kambojas free after having completely shaven their heads. 
(VangavasI Edition, Chap. 88. ) It is stated in the Harivamsa 

I Mahabharata, &axitiparva, Chap. 207, 43-44. 
* Ibid. Xnusasanika-parva, Cbap. 33, 21. 

'< &aka Yavanakambojastastah Ksatriyajatayah 
Vrifalatvath parigata Brahmananartiadarsayat." 


that the Iksvaku King Vahu was dethroned by Kambojas 
and others. (Chaps. 13, 14.) 

In the Jatakas we read that the Kambojas were a north- 
western tribe who were supposed to have 

ln.the Buddhist works. - _ ^ . . . * , ^ 

lost their original Aryan customs and to 
have become barbarous. 1 In the Bharidatta Jataka we 
find that many Kambojas who are not Ariyas hold that the 
people are purified by killing insects, flies, snakes, frogs, 
bees, etc. This is undoubtedly a false dhanna.* It is stated 
in the Sasanavamsa that in the two hundred and thirty-fifth 
year of the Parinibbana of the Buddha, Maharakkhita thera 
went to the Yonaka province and established the Buddha's 
Sasana in Kamboja and other places. 8 Uttarajiva thera 
went to Ceylon with a samanera named Chapada who 
studied the Tripitaka and obtained full ordination there. 
He then desired to return to Jambudipa but he thought thus, 
"I shall be put to inconvenience if I do not perform Vinaya 
Kammam with the Bhikkhus of Jambudipa and hence I 
should take with me four bhikkhus who are well versed in the 
Tripitaka.' ' He took four bhikkhus with him, among whom 
may be mentioned Tamalinda thera, son of the king of 
Kamboja, and sailed back to Jambudipa.* Sirihamsya 
came from Kamboja and conquered the city of Ratanapura. 
He thought, " Bhikkhus being without wife and son, train 

i Jataka (Cowell), VI, p. no. f.n. 

* Paiiboll, Jataka, Vol. VI, pp. 208 and 210. 

* Sasanavaitasa (P.T.S.), p. 49. "Sasane pan a pan catimsad hike dvivassasate 
sampattc Mabarakkhitathero Yonakaratthaifa gaiitva Kamboja. .. .adisu anekadisu 
ratthesu sasanain patftthapesi." 

* Ibid, p. 40. 


pupils and bring them up and thus their families grow. 
If they turn their attention to worldly affairs, they will be 
able to conquer kingdoms, therefore, I should kill the bhikkhus 
now/' In a field in the forest named Ton-bhi-luh, he erected 
many pandals in which he invited all the mahatheras of 
Jeyyapura, Vijayapura and Ratanapura with their many 
disciples. There he caused them to sit and killed them 
surrounding them with his army consisting of elephants, 
horses, etc. About three thousand bhikkhus were slain by 
him and many books were burnt and many shrines were 
demolished. 1 

In Rock Edict XIII of Asoka, we read that the true 
conquest, i.e.. the conquest of the law of 

Relations of Kamboja 1 > * 1 

with the Maurya and piety or duty has been won by His Sacred 

Pala Empires. f_ . ' . / , . ,. J , . . 

Majesty ASoka m his own dominions 
among the Kambojas, the Greeks and so forth. (V. A. Smith, 
Aoka, p. 186.) V. A. Smith says that King A6oka sent mis- 
sionaries to the nations on the borders of his empire, viz., the 
Kambojas, the Yavanas and so forth with the object of con- 
verting them to his f aith.* The fifth Rock Edict of Aoka tells 
us that Censors were created by Asoka for the establishment 
of the law of piety, for the increase of the law and for the 
welfare and happiness of the Kambojas, Gandharas and others 
living on the western frontier of ASoka's dominions. 8 V. A. 
Smith sums up that true conquest consists in the conquest 
of men's hearts by the law of piety or duty. Aoka won 
such conquests in his dominions among the Kambojas and 

i Sasanavariisa, (P.T.S.).p. 100. 

* V. A. Smith, Asoka, p. 168. 9 ibid. 


others. In fact, the Kambojas and others hearing ASoka's 
ordinance based on the law of duty and his instruction 
in that law, practise and will practise that law. 1 

In the ninth century A. C. the Kambojas are said to have 
been defeated by Devapala * the great king of the Pala 
dynasty of Bengal. But during the latter part of the tenth 
century, the tables were turned and the rule of the Pala kings 
of Bengal was interrupted by the Kambojas, who set up one 
of their chiefs as king. 1 * In a certain place called Vanagarh 
in Dinajpur, mention is made of a certain king of Gauda 
born in the Kamboja family. It is probable that during the 
reign of Devapaladeva, the Kambojas first attempted to 
conquer Gauda, but were, at that time defeated.* Mr. R. P. 
Chanda supposes that in the middle of the tenth century 
A.D., the Kambojas of the Himalayas again attacked 
North-Bengal and the present inhabitants of North-Bengal, 
viz., Koch, Mech and Palia were descended from them. 6 The 
Kamboja rulers were expelled by Mahipala I, the ninth 
king of the Pala line, who is known to have been reigning in 
A.D. 1026 and may be assumed to have regained his 
ancestral throne about A.D. 978 or 980. 

1 V. A. Smith, Ancient and Hindu India, p. 96. 
' R. D. Banerjee, Vangalar Itihasa. p. 182. 

* V. A. Smith, Early History of India, p. 399 

4 R. D, Banerjee, Vangalar Itihasa, p. 184, * Ibid, p. 205. 

* V. A. Smith, Early History of India, p. 39^. 


Gandhara formed an integral part of India since the 
earliest epoch of Indo- Aryan civilisation. The Gandharis 
or the people of Gandhara are mentioned in the hymns of 
the Rgveda itself. Gandhara occurs in the other Vedas, 
and in the Epics and the Puranas as well as in the Buddhist 
books. In the days of Aoka and some of his successors, 
Gandhara was one of the most flourishing seats of Buddhism. 
The country was on the north-western 

Location of Gandhara. p . /***+ i i_ i i 

frontiers of India in the neighbourhood 
of the Madras, Kambojas and similar other tribes, but 
there are some differences of opinion among scholars with 
regard to the exact boundaries of the region known as 
Gandhara in ancient India. The Gandhara country, says 
Smith, was equivalent to the north-west Punjab and 
the adjoining regions (V. A. Smith, Aoka, p. 170). Mr. 
Rapson, on the authority of Herodotus, has pointed out 
in his Ancient India, a distinction between the Gandharians 
and the Indians. He says that the Gandharians have been 
described by Herodotus as bearing bows of reed and short 
spears, and the Indians as being clad in cotton garments and 
bearing similar bows with arrows tipped with iron (Ancient 
India, p. 87). Rhys Davids in his Buddhist India (p. 28) 
says that Gandhara (modern Kandahar) was the district of 
Eastern Afghanistan and it probably included the north- 


west of the Punjab. In Geiger's Mahavamsa we read that 
Gandhara comprises the district of Peshawar and Rawalpindi 
in the Northern Punjab (Geiger, Mahavamsa, p. 82, n. 2). 
Dr. S. K. Aiyangar holds that Gandhara is eastern Afghanis- 
than between the Afghan mountains and a little way east of 
the Indus. (Ancient India, p. 7.) According to Dr. D. R. 
Bhandarkar, Gandhara included the western Punjab and 
Eastern Afghanisthan. Its capital was TakshaSila where 
ruins arc spread near Saraikala in the Rawalpindi district 
in the Punjab (Carmichsel Lectures, 1918, p. 54). The 
country of Gandhara lies along the Kabul river between the 
Khoaspes (Kunar) and the Indus. Ptolemy makes the Indus 
the eastern boundary of the Gandari. It is the Kiantolo 
of Hiuen Tsang, the Kundara Gandaridse of Strabo and 
other ancient Greek geographers. In the Ain-i-Akbari it 
forms the district of Pukely lying between Kashmir and 
Attok. Gandhara, says Mr. N. L. Dey, comprised the 
modern districts of Peshawar and Hoti Murdan or what is 
called the Eusofzai country, where discoveries were made of 
excellent Buddhist architecture and sculpture of the time of 
Kanishka i.e., of the first century of the Christian era (N. L. 
Dey, Geographical Dictionary, p. 23). The boundaries of 
Gandhara may be described as Lamghan and Jalalabad on the 
west, the hills of Swat and Bunir on the north, the Indus 
on the east and the hills of Kalabagh on the south (Cunning- 
ham, Ancient Geography, p. 48). Undoubtedly Gandhara 
forms a most important link connecting India with the west 
as Mr. Rapson points out (Ancient India, p. 81). We agree 
with Mr. Rapson when he says that it holds a unique position 


among all the countries of India from the fact that its history 
may be traced with remarkable continuity from the times 
of the Rgveda even down to the present day. (Ancient 
India, pp. 81-82.) In the Cambridge History of India, we 
are told that Gandhara and Gandhari may certainly be 
interpreted as referring to the districts of Peshawar and 
Rawalpindi, north-east from Kabul. A part of these districts 
has belonged rather to Iran than to India in historic times, 
but it is equally impossible to deny or to minimise the role 
they have played in India's development ever since the 
remote age when the tribal ancestors of the present Hindus 
occupied them on their way into their later established 
home (p. 321). According to Strabo, the country of the 
Gandarai, which he calls Gandaritis, lay between the Khoas- 
pes and the Indus, and along the river Kophes. The name 
is not mentioned by any of the historians of Alexander, but 
it must nevertheless have been known to the Greeks as early 
as the times of Hekataios who, as we learn from Stephanos 
of Byzantion, calls Kaspapyros, a Gandaric city. Herodotus 
mentions the Gandarioi. There was some difference of 
opinion about the position of the Gandarioi. Rennell placed 
them on the west of Baktria in the province afterwards 
called Margiana while Wilson took them to be the people 
south of the Hindukush, from about the modern Kandahar 
to the Indus, and extending into the Punjab and to Kashmere. 
There is, however, no connection between the names of 
Gandaria and Kandahar (Ancient India as described by 
Ptolemy McCrindle, pp. 115-116). Cunningham relying 
on the narratives of the Chinese pilgrims gives the boundaries 


of Gandhara which they call Kien-to-lo : on the west Latnghan 
and Jalalabad, on the north the hills of Swat and Bunir, 
on the east the Indus and on the south the hills of Kalabagh. 
(Ancient India as described by Ptolemy McCrindle, p. 116.) 
In some books, the name "Cave country " was applied to 
Gandhara. (Watters on Yuan Chwang, Vol. I., p. 200.) 

From the observations about the location of Gandhara and 
the mention of the country in Indian literature as we shall 
show below, it appears that the boundaries of the country 
varied at different periods in its history, so that its eastern 
and western frontiers must have changed from time to time. 
At one time it appears to have included the Afghan District 
round Kandahar, but afterwards it receded to the mountains 
on the Indian frontier. 

In the Rgveda the long wool of the sheep reared by the 
Gandharis is referred to by Lomasa, the 

Gan merati?c VedlC q ueen of Kin S Bhavya or Bhavayavya, 
who, according to the Rgveda itself, 
ruled on the banks of the Sindhu or the Indus ; she says to 
her husband, "I am covered with down like a ewe of the 
Gandharins." (Rgveda I, 126, 7; Wilson's Translation, ii, 
p. 78.) From the facts that the verse is brought in very 
abruptly and that it is in a metre different from the rest of 
the hymn in which it occurs, Wilson observes that it "is 
probably a fragment of some old popular song" (Ibid, p. 19). 
This would, therefore, attribute a knowledge of the Gandharis 
to the Vedic Aryans in very ancient times. 

A hymn in the Atharvaveda consigns Takman or fever 
to the Gandharis along with other people like the Mujavants, 


the Angas and the Magadhas; the Gandharis and the Maja- 
vants belonged to the north whereas the Angas and the 
Magadhas were in the east, and it is rather peculiar that all 
these people should be mentioned together. The authors of 
the Vedic Index explain it by noting that "the latter two 
tribes are apparently the Eastern limit of the poet's know- 
ledge, the two former the northern." (Vedic Index, I, 219.) 
In the Brahmana literature also we find mention of this 
people. The Chandogya Upanisad in giving an example, 
thus goes on : " As one might lead a person with his eyes 
covered away from the Gandharas, and leave him then in a 
place where there are no human beings ; and as that person 
would turn towards the east, or the north, or the west, and 
shout, 'I have been here with my eyes covered, I have been 
left here with my eyes covered/ and as thereupon some one 
might loose his bandage and say to him, ' Go in that direction, 
it is Gandhara, go in that direction* ; and as thereupon having 
been informed and being able to judge for himself, he would 
by asking his way from village to village arrive at last at 
Gandhara, in exactly.the same manner does a man, who meets 
with a teacher to inform him, obtain the true knowledge. 
For him there is only delay so long as he is not delivered 
(from the body) ; then he will be perfect/' Max Miiller 
observes in this connection, "The Gandharas but rarely 
mentioned in the Rgveda and the Aitareya Brahmana, have 
left their name in Kandaroi and Candahar, The fact of 
their name being evidently quite familiar to the author of 
the Upanisad might be used to prove either its antiquity or 
its northern origin." (S.B.E., I., p. 105.) But here he is 


wrong as will be evident from a glance at the context. The 
author is without doubt referring to a country where he or his 
countrymen were likely to meet with some difficulty owing 
to ignorance of the Gandhara district and he is apparently 
speaking of a region at some distance from his own place of 

The Aitareya Brahmana (VII, 34) mentions Nagnajit, 
a king of Gandhara among the Vedic teachers who pro- 
pagated the Soma-cult, so that it is evident that Gandhara 
or Gandhara was not outside Vedic Aryandom, but must 
have been included in it. This is placed beyond doubt by 
the fact that in the Satapatha Brahmana (viii, i, 4, 10) also 
we find a king of Gandhara, Svarjit Nagnajita or Nagnajit 
being quoted though without approval on a point of ritual. 
His opinion is treated with scant respect as he was merely a 
Jtajanya-vandhu, that is, one belonging to the princely order, 
and not a Rsi. But this King Nagnajit is treated with great 
regard and respect in later literature from the great Epic 
downwards, and in a technical book on painting he is regarded 
as the originator of that art (Dokumente der Indischen 
Kunst, Erstes Heft, Malerei, des Citra Laksana edited by 
Berthold Laufer). 

Coming down to the next period of Vedic literature, viz., 
the period of the Sutras, we find that the people of Gandhara 
were very familiar to the Vedic Aryans. Thus we find them 
in the Srauta-Sutras of Baudhayana, Apastamba and 
HiranyakeSi along with other Aryan peoples of 
the west (Baudhayana 6rauta Sutra, xxi, 
6rauta Sutra, xxii, 6, 18, HiranyakeSi SrautaJ 


In the Adiparva of the Mahabharata we find that there 
was a king named Suvala in the kingdom 

Legends about Can- , < . 

dhara in the Maha- of Gandhara. Dhrtarastra, the king of 
bharata. ^ Kurus, married his daughter Gan- 

dhari and it is well-known to us that 100 sons were born to 
her. (Mahabharata, Chap. 63, p. 72.) Dwapara appeared 
on earth as Sakuni, son of King Suvala of Gandhara. 
(Adiparva, Chap. 67, pp. 77-79.) A princess of Gandhara 
was one of the wives of Ajamidha who was the originator of 
the family of the Kurus. Gandhara, it is said, was named 
after this Gandhari. (Adiparva, Chap. 95, p. 105.) In the 
same Parva we find that Bhisma said to Vidura thus, " Vidura, 
I know that it is advisable to accept as wives, the daughters 
of King Suvala and King Madra." It is heard later that 
Bhisma sent the proposal of marriage of Dhrtarastra with 
Gandhari , to Suvala who accepted the proposal. Then Su vala 
came with 6akuni and Gandhari to Dhrtarastra and went 
back home after giving Gandhari in marriage to Dhrtarastra. 
(Chap. 10, p. 118.) 

In the Sabhaparva we learn that the king of Gandhara, 
Suvala, came to Yudhisthira as soon as he heard the news 
of the Rajasuya sacrifice. (Chap. 34, p. 245.) In the 
Bhisma parva mention is made of Gandhara amongst many 
countries. (Chap. 9, p. 822.) We read that Sakuni, the 
Gandharan prince, stood in front of the army with many 
other warriors. (Chap. 16, pp. 827-828.) In the same parva 
we find that the Gandharan prince, Sakuni followed Duryo- 
dhana with his alpine army. (Chap. 28, pp. 830-831.) The 
same parva states that the Gandharan King Sakuni guarded 


Dronacarya. (Chap. 51, p. 924.) In the Dronaparva it is 
mentioned that Karna brought Gandhara under the sway 
of Duryodhana. (Chap. 4, p. 997.) In the Udyogaparva 
we find that King Yayati sent his son Yadu to exile in 
Gandhara because he began to disregard his ksatriya superiors 
and became puffed up on account of his strength. (Chap. 

149, P- 77I-) 

In the Asvamedhapnrva we read that Arjuna went to 
Paiicanada (the Punjab.) There he had a hard fight with 
the son of Sakuni, the king of Gandhara. Many Gandharan 
soldiers were killed by Arjuna who saved the life of Sakuni's 
son. The Gandharan army fled because they could not 
stand against him. Then the wife of &akuni appeared 
before Arjuna with many good articles and begged his pardon. 
Arjuna then invited the son of Sakuni to attend the 
Asvamedha sacrifice and left for Hastinapura. (Chaps. 
83-84, pp. 2093-2094.) On the field of Kuruksetra, the 
Gandharas, led by their prince Sakuni, made up a strong 
and powerful division of the Kuru army. When at the 
commencement of the battle on the first day Duryodhana 
came out in procession at the head of his vast army, the 
Gandhara King Sakimi with his contingent of hill troops 
(Parvatiyaih), surrounded him on all sides (Bhismaparva, 
XX, 8). This shows that the warriors hailing from the 
hills of Gandhara were the most trusty of his soldiers, so 
that they formed the body-guard of the monarch. After the 
battle had well begun, five Gandhara princes with all their 
troops engaged the five Kekaya brothers with their army 
(ibid, 46, 76). In the second day's fight the Gandharas 


with Sakuni at their head defended Bharadvaja Drona 
(ibid, Ch. 51, 14). On the third day, when the fight was 
at its thickest, then two great heroes on the Fandava side, 
Satyaki and Abhimanyu, with a large division of the army, 
made a fearful onset against the heroic Gandharas led by their 
princes and at the very first onrush the Sauvala or Gandhara 
princes succeeded in breaking up Satyaki* s chariot, so much 
so that Satyaki saved himself with difficulty by precipitously 
running into the chariot of Abhimanyu and the two heroes 
had to go through the fight in the same chariot (ibid, Ch. 58, 
7-10). On the fifth day, the Gandharas along with the 
Kambojas, Madras and other peoples of the north-western 
frontier made an onset against Arjuna under the lead of 
Sakuni (ibid, Ch. 71, 13-17). In the eighth day's fight 
when Arjuna' s son, Ira van, with an intrepid army of 
soldiers mounted on powerful horses, was working a great 
slaughter of the Kaurava forces, then the Gandhara princes, 
six brothers of Sakuni, made an advance on fast horses of 
their country and essayed to stop the tide of Ira van's great 
rush. The cowardly Sakuni tried his level best to persuade 
them to desist from this imprudent advance, but his younger 
brothers had a higher idea of their duties on the field and 
rushed to the spot where Iravan was making a dreadful 
havoc with his cavalry. They with their horses surrounded 
Iravan and for a moment the son of Arjuna seemed to be 
in danger but the latter got the better of the Gandhara 
princes by clever manoeuvres and the young men all lay dead 
on the field (ibid, Ch. 90). 

After Bhisma's fall when Drona, as Commander-in-Chief, 


arrayed the Kaurava forces in the Garuda-vyuha, Gandharas 
were placed in the rear (Dronaparva, Ch. 20). Two other 
brothers of Sakuni also led their forces against Arjuna himself 
and beset him from all sides with their fierce Gandhara 
troops, but five hundred of them laid down their lives and 
when the chariot of one of them was cut to pieces by Arjuna, 
both the brothers fought in the same chariot and showed 
considerable prowess, but ultimately met with death in the 
hands of Arjuna. On their death Sakuni, dreadfully incensed, 
tried to defeat Arjuna by clever tricks (Mayayuddha) but 
finding them useless against the great hero, fled from the 
field like a coward and the great speed of the excellent horses 
of his country saved his life (ibid, 29, 2-27). 

When Abhimanyu, the valiant son of Arjuna had his 
chariot broken by the combined onset of the Kaurava 
heroes, then Kalikeya, a Gandhara leader of the family of 
Suvala (Suvala-dayada) met him but he with seventy- seven 
of his followers was killed by the young hero with a club 
or gada (Dronaparva, 48, 7). Next, when the Kurus were 
making every effort to save the life of Jayadratha from 
the wrath of Arjuna who had taken up the dreadful resolve 
of killing him, on the Gandharas was laid the duty of being 
his immediate guards; they were decked with all sorts of 
defensive armour and mounted on their horses. (Ibid, 
Ch. 85, 16-17). Evidently great trust was placed on their 
prowess and perhaps specially on their fast horses. 

When Kama abusing Salya was enumerating the evil 
practices of the Madras, he included the Gandharas also in 
the same category and said that the Gandharas along with 


the other races on the north-western frontier were men of 
disgusting practices and customs (Karnaparva, 44, 46 and 45, 
8). When at last Karna lay dead on the field, then it is said 
that cowardly 6akuni precipitately fled from the battle to 
the camp, surrounded by thousands of the Gandharas (ibid, 
95, 6). The Gandhara cavalry had not yet come to an end 
and when Salya rallied the Kuru forces, we hear of Sakuni 
joining the Kuru army with a large battalion of his mounted 
troops (Salyaparva, 8, 26). It appears that like the Kam- 
bojas in their neighbourhood, the Gandharas also reared a 
large number of horses in their country and that their troops 
mostly fought on horseback. 

Gandhara is also found in the Puranas. According to 
the Matsya Purana, in the family of 
GM ?SSJ5! the Druhyu, one of the sons of Yayati, Gan- 
dhara was born and the kingdom of Gan- 
dhara was named after him. 1 In the Bhagavata Purana* 
Gandhara was the fourth in line of descent from Druhyu. The 
Visnupurana" also agrees with the Matsya, in stating that 
Gandhara, the eponymous founder of the country, was 
born in the family of Druhyu. Gandhara had the following 
descendants, namely, Dharma, Dhrti, Durgam and Praceta. 
Praceta had one hundred sons who being the kings of the 
Mleccha country, conquered* the north. In the Matsya 
Purana, we find that Druhyu had two sons, Setu and Ketu. 
Setu had a son named Saradvana, who had a son named Gan- 

Matsya Purana, 48, Vayu Purana, 99. 9th Skandha, Chap. 23. 

4th A&ka, i?th Chap. * Visnupurana, 4th Afika, i;th Chapter. 


dhara. The kingdom of Gandhara was named after Gandhara 
who had the following descendants Dharma, Vidusa and 
Praceta. Praceta had one hundred sons and all of them 
became kings of the Mleccha kingdom after conquering the 
north. (Ch. 48.) In the Brahmapurana (Ch. 13), Gandhara 
was the great grandson of Druhyu, whose son was Setu who 
had a son named Arigarasetu. It is also stated there that 
the kingdom of Gandhara was named after Gandhara. 
Mention is made of the Gandhara people in the Brihatsamhita 
of Varahamihira (Kern's Edition, p. 92). In spite of slight 
differences, it is evident that the Epic and Pauranic accounts 
agree in making the Gandharas descend from the great 
ksatriya family of the lunar dynasty. 

Fa-Hien, who visited India at the beginning of the fifth 
century A.D., narrates that Gandhara 
was the pkce where Dhannavivaidhana, 
son of Asoka, ruled. When the Buddha 
was a Bodhisattva, he gave his eyes for another man here ; 
there was a large stupa adorned with layers of gold and silver 
plates. The people of the country were mostly students of 
the Hinayana School (Legge, Travels of Fa-Hien, pp. 31-32). 
Hiuen Tsang who visited India in the seventh century 
A.D., has left for us an interesting account of Gandhara. 
He records the ruined state of monasteries and shrines which 
two centuries before showed no traces of decay. Kern 
cites the example of Gandhara where such a state of things 
happened. Hiuen Tsang further says that the great stupa 
of Peshawar which on account of its height of more than 
four hundred cubits, must have been a stupa of the more 


composite type, had already thrice been damaged by fire 
before the pilgrim visited the country. The foundation of 
the great stupa at Peshawar dates from Kaniska's time 
(Kern, Indian Buddhism, p. 93 and p. 93 f.n.). The 
kingdom of Gandhara is about one thousand li from 
east to west, and about eight hundred li from north to 
south. On the east, it borders on the river Sin (Sindhu). 
The capital of the country is called Po-lu-sha-pu-lo i.e., 
Purusapura; it is about forty li in circuit. The royal family 
is extinct and the kingdom is governed by deputies from 
KapiSa. The towns and villages are deserted and there 
are but few inhabitants. At one corner of the royal resi- 
dence, there are about one thousand families. The coun- 
try is rich in cereals and produces a variety of flowers and 
fruits; it abounds also in sugarcane. The climate is warm 
and moist, and in general without ice or snow. The disposi- 
tion of the people is timid and soft: they love literature. 
Most of them belong to heretical schools, a few believe in the 
true law. From old time till now this border-land of India 
has produced many authors of Sastras, e.g., Narayanadeva, 
Asanga, Vasubandhu, Dharmatrata, Manorhita, ParsVa the 
noble; and so on. There are one thousand Sangharamas 
which are deserted and in ruins. They are filled with wild 
shrubs, and solitary to the last degree. The stupas are 
mostly decayed. The heretical temples, to the number of 
about one hundred, are occupied pell-mell by heretics 
(Buddhist Records of the W. W., Vol. I, pp. 97-98). In the 
town of P'o-lo-tu-lo, i.e., the town of Salatula, Panini was 
born who composed his Vyakarana (p. 114). 


The early capital cities of Gandhara were Pushkalavati 
or Puskaravati and Takshasila (Taxila). 

Capital cities. 

The former is situated to the west and 
the latter to the east of the Indus. It would appear that in 
early times the Gandhara territory lay on both sides of that 
river though in subsequent times it was confined to the 
western side. (Ancient India, Ptolemy, McCrindle, p. 115.) 
According to Cunningham, the ancient capital of Gan- 
dhara was Puskaravati which is said to 
have been founded by Puskara, son of 
Bharata and nephew of Rama. (Visnupurana, Wilson's 
Edition, Vol. IV, c. 4.) 

In the Cambridge History of India, we read that Push- 
kalavati was to the west of the Indus and it together with 
Taxila came under the Saka rule during the reign of Maues 
(p. 560). Mr. Brown says that the chief of the Sakas, Maues 
captured Pushkalavati (Peshawar). (Brown's Coins of 
India, p. 24.) Its antiquity is undoubted as it was the 
capital of an Indian Prince named Astes at the time of 
Alexander's expedition. Pushkalavati is called Peukelas 
by Arrian and Peukalei by Dionysius Periegetes (see Cun- 
ningham's Ancient Geography of India, p. 49). It was 
famous for a large stapa (Ibid, p. 51). Taranath mentions 
the town of Pushkalavati as a royal residence of Kanaka's 
son (Vincent Smith, Early History of India, p. 261, n.). 

Another capital city of Gandharajwas 
Takshasila (Shi-shi-Ch'eng) ' 

Watters on Yuan Chwang, Vol. I, p. aoj 


Taxila, the eastern capital of Gandhara, means severed 
head in the language of China. Here, when the Buddha 
was a Bodhisatta, he is said to have given away his head to 
a man and from this circumstance, the kingdom got its name 
(Legge, Fa-Hien, p. 32.) The city was great, wealthy and 
most populous as described by Arrian. Strabo and Hiuen 
Tsiang praise the fertility of the soil. Pliny calls it a famous 
city and states that it was situated on a level where the 
hills sank down into the plains. In the early part of the 
second century B.C., it became a province of the Grseco- 
Bactrian monarchy and then it was occupied by the Indo- 
Scythians. Near the middle of the first century A.D., it 
was visited by Apollonius of Tyana and his companion 
Damis, who described it as being about the size of Nineveh, 
walled like a Greek city. Streets were narrow but well- 
arranged. To all Buddhists, Taxila is a very interesting 
place as it was the scene of one of the Buddha's most meri- 
torious acts of alms-giving, when he bestowed his head in 
charity. It was not mentioned by Alberuni. (Ancient 
India as described by Ptolemy, pp. 119, foil.) 

Cunningham says that the site of Takshasila is found 
near Shah-Dheri just one mile to the 
north-east of Kala-ka-sarai, in the ex- 
tensive ruins of a fortified city around which he was able to 
trace no less than fifty-five stapas, of which two are as large as 
the great Manikyala tope, twenty-eight monasteries and nine 
temples. Now the distance from Shah-Dheri to Ohind is 
thirty-six miles, and from Ohind to Hashtnagar is thirty- 
eight more or altogether seventy-four miles, which is 


nineteen in excess of the distance recorded by Pliny between 
Taxila and Peukelaotis. To reconcile these discrepant 
numbers Cunningham suggests that Pliny's sixty miles or 
IvX, should be read as eighty miles or LXXX, which are 
equivalent to seventy-three and half English miles or within 
half a mile of the actual distance between the two places. 
(Cunningham, Ancient Geography, p. 105.) Dr. Bhandarkar 
says that in Asoka's time Takshasila does not appear to 
have been the capital of Gandhara, for from his Rock 
Edict, XIII, we see that Gandhara was not in his domi- 
nions proper, but was feudatory to him. From the separate 
Orissa Edict I, we learn that Takkasila was directly under 
him as one of his sons was stationed there. Evidently 
Takkasila was not the capital of Gandhara in Asoka's time. 
This agrees with the statement of Ptolemy that the Gandarai 
(Gandhara) country was to the west of the Indus with its 
city Proklais, i.e. Puskaravati, (Carmichoel Lectures, 1918, 
p. 54 f.n,). 

Takkhasila was visited by Hiuen Tsiang in the seventh 
century A.D. It was above two thousand li in circuit. 
Its capital was above ten li in circuit. Its soil was fertile 
and the crops good, with flowing streams and luxuriant 
vegetables. The climate was genial, and the people being 
plucky were adherents of Buddhism. Although there were 
many monasteries, some of them were desolate and the 
monks who were very few were all Mahayanists (Watters on 
Yuan Chwang, Vol. I. p, 240). There were stupa*, e.g., the 
Kunala stupa, the Dharmarajika stupa. 

Taxila figures prominently in Jaina and Buddhist stories. 


There was a plague that raged in Taxila when Mahavira, 
the head of the Jaina community, 
composed many mantras (Santistotras) 
(Heart of Jainism by Mrs. Sinclair 
Stevenson, p. 80, f.n.). 

In the Psalms of the Brethren we find that Bharadvaja 
was born in a Brahmin family at the time of the Buddha at 
Rajagaha. A son was born to him and when the son grew 
up, Bharadvaja sent him to Takkasila. On his way to 
Taxila, he made friends with a thera, a disciple of the Master, 
took orders and won Arahatship. (Psalms of the Brethren, 
p. 136.) 

It is stated in the Dipavamsa that a ksatriya prince 
named Dlpamkara, and his sons and grandsons, twelve 
royal princes, governed their great kingdom in Taxila. 
(Dipavamsa by Oldenberg, p. 28.) In the Dutiyapalayi 
Jataka we find that King Gandhara of Taxila attacked and 
surrounded Benares with his four-fold army and boasted that 
nobody would be able to defeat his unconquerable army 
consisting of innumerable horses, elephants, and chariots 
decorated with flags. The king of Benares told him thus : 
"Don't talk nonsense, I shall soon destroy your army like 
mad elephants destroying nalavana. Thus shouted the king 
of Benares and King Gandhara seeing his forehead shining 
like a gold plate was terrified and fled to his own kingdom. 
(Fausboll, Jataka, Vol. II, pp. 219-221). In the Palayi Jataka 
we find that in the kingdom of Gandhara, in the city of Taxila, 
the Bodhisatta was the king and Brahmadatta was the king 
of Benares. Brahmadatta surrounded the city of Taxila 


with a large army and he was giving instructions to his army 
thus: "Send elephants, horses, chariots, and foot soldiers 
in the manner stated by me to attack forcibly and strike 
weapons and shoot arrows like heavy showers of rain." Thus 
he led his army to the gate of the city of Taxila and enquired 
whether the (city-gate) was the king's palace and was informed 
that it was the city-gate and the king lived in a palace like 
that of Inda. He then thought that it was not proper to 
fight with such a mighty king and then he went back to 
lienares. (Fausboll, Jataka, Vol. II, pp. 217-218.) 

Takkhasila was a great seat of learning in Ancient India. 
Various arts and sciences were taught 

Tak oMclming. 6eat here and P u P Us from different parts of 
India used to visit this place for learning 
them. In Taxila, magic charms were taught (Jataka, II 
No. 185, p. 69). Here spells for understanding cries of 
animals were taught (Jataka, Vol. Ill, No. 416, p. 249). 
Among the celebrated Buddhist scholars who made the name 
of Taxila and its janapada, Gandhara, famous all over India 
were Dhammapala (Psalms of the Brethren, p. 149), Yasa- 
datta (Ibid, p. 201), Angulimala (Ibid, p. 319, foil.), Asanga, 
a great teacher of Yogacara and Vasuvandhu, the celebrated 
author of the Abhidharmakosa. The details about Taxila' s 
importance as a seat of learning have been given by me else- 
where { and a brief notice is all that is necessary here. 

In the Kumbhakara Jataka we read that there was a 
king named Naggaji who ruled both the kingdoms of Kash- 

i See my work, ' Historical Gleanings,' Chapter I, pp. 1-8. 


mere and Gandhara. He afterwards obtained paccekabodhi 
o,. ,,.tnrv (Jataka, Vol. Ill, pp. 377-378). Naggaji 

Political History. i f . .* * i i < 4 

left the kingdom and became a monk 
(Ibid, p. 381). In the Buddha's time Pukkusati, king of 
Gandhara, is said to have sent an embassy and a letter to 
King Bimbisara of Magadha (Buddhist India, p. 28). Mr. 
Rapson says that it was a Persian province for about two 
centuries ; and after the downfall of the empire in 331 B.C. 
it together with the Persian province of 'India ' or f the country 
of the Indus, ' which had been added to the empire by Darius 
not long after 516 B.C. came under the sway of Alexander 
the Great. Through Gandhara and the Indian province 
was exercised the Persian influence which so greatly modified 
the civilisation of North-Western India (Ancient India, 
pp. 81-82). Shortly after the death of Asoka, Gandhara 
declared independence (R. D. Banerjee, Vangalar Itihasa, 
p. 31). It was brought under the sway of the Greek kings 
shortly after Asoka' s death (Ibid, p. 32). Apparently near 
the 5th century A.D. Gandhara was conquered by the Ye-ta, 
i.e., the Yets or Jats. Mr. R. D. Banerjee presumes that 
Diyadata II. conquered Gandhara because some gold coins 
of Diyadata II. have been discovered by Sir John Marshall 
in the ruins of the city of Taksasila (R. D. Banerjee, Pracina 
Mudra, p. 27). Whitehead presumes that Euthydemus con- 
quered Gandhara (Catalogue of coins in the Punjab Museum, 
Lahore, Vol. I, p. 4). The fourth Bactrian king Demetrios 
was confronted with a rival, Eucratides (c. 175-155 B.C.) 
who deprived him of his Bactrian dominions and even of a 
portion of Gandhara (the present districts of Peshawar and 


Rawalpindi). Henceforward there were two rival Greek 
dynasties, the house of 'Eucratides including the princes 
Heliokles, Antialkidas and Hermaios ruling in Kabul, 
Kandahar and Gandhara. (The Coins of India, by Brown, 
pp. 23-24). The Huns first of all defeated the kings of the 
Kidara Kusana dynasty and then entered India (Pracina 
Mudra, p. 188). The Huns occupied Gandhara (V.A. Smith, 
Early History of India, p 310). 

Dharmapala of the Pala Dynasty dethroned Indrayudha 
or Indraraja, king of Pancala, whose capital was Kanauj, 
and installed in his stead Chakrayudha, with the assent of the 
neighbouring northern powers enumerated as the Bhoja, 
Matsya, Gandhara, Avanti and so forth (V. A. Smith, Karly 
History of India, p. 398). 

Trilochanapala was the last king of the Shahi dynasty. 
During his reign the Hindu rule was lost in Gandhar?. In 
the eleventh century, Trilochanapala was defeated on the 
bank of river Tosi by Sultan Mahmud of Ghajni. Trilochan's 
son Bhimapala became independent for five years. After 
him no account is available of the Hindu rule in Gandhara 
(R. D. Banerjee, Pracina Mudra, p. 198). 

In the Gandhara Jataka we find that Bodhisatta 
who was at the time the king of Gandhara, 

Legendary accounts. kingdom ri g h teously. In the 

middle country, King Videha ruled in Videhanagara. They 
were friends though they never met each other. On the 
first day of the full moon, the king of Gandhara saw the 
moon swallowed up by Rahu. The king observing this 
phenomenon thought that the trouble came from outside, 


his royal retinue was nothing but a trouble and that it was 
not proper that he should lose his light like the moon 
swallowed up by Rahu. He then gave up his kingdom, 
became a rishi and dwelt in the Himavantapadesa by 
practising Jhana. His friend, the king of Videha followed 
his example. After wandering through various places they 
met each other at a certain place, but could not recognise 
each other. They saw the moon's orb seized by Rahu. The 
king of Gandhara informed the king of Videha of the cause 
of his giving up his kingdom. The Videhan king recognised 
him and told him the cause of his giving up the kingdom. 
After staying in the Himalayan region for a long time, they 
came down to the frontier village for sour and salty food 
(cooked food). It happened that one day the Videhan 
ascetic stored up some salt to be taken when wanting. The 
Gandhara ascetic knew about it and told him, "You (the 
Videha ascetic) have given up your kingdom consisting of 
16,000 villages, with store-houses filled, but now you are 
storing a small quantity of salt." The Videha ascetic grew 
angry and told him, "You are blaming me, you are not 
looking to your own defect. You are now ruling me after 
giving up the rule of the kingdom of Gandhara which is full 
of wealth." The king of Gandhara replied, "I am speaking 
dharma, there is no wrong in giving instructions on 
Dharma." Both of them returned to the Himalayan region 
to dwell in peace and happiness. The Gandhara ascetic 
instructed the Videha ascetic. 

The Sasanavamsa tells us that the thera Majjhantika 
was sent to Kashmir and Gandhara to preach Buddha- 



sasana. 1 The Dipavamsa also supports the statement that 
the great sage Majjhantika went to the country of the 
Gandharas and there he appeased an enraged naga and 
freed many people from the fetters of sin. 2 

In the Divyavadana we find that a Yupa or sacrificial 
wood thrown into the Ganges by Mahapanada will be taken 
up by the four great kings, one of whom was Elapatra of 
Gandhara who would hand it over to Sarhkha (Cowell and 
Neil, pp. 60-61). 

The Rock Edict V. of Asoka points out that for the 

welfare and happiness of the Gandharas, 

Spr in Gandha^ Dharmamahamatras (high officers in the 

department of dharma) were appointed 

by Asoka. (Vincent Smith, Asoka, p. 168.) 

In the fifth century A.D. Buddhist scholastic philosophy 

reached its culmination. About that 

celebrities^ Can- time two f amous Gandharians flourished, 

viz., Asanga and Vasuvandhu. Asahga 
at first an adherent of the semi-orthodox Mahisasakas after- 
wards became a convert to Mahayanism. He was a great 
teacher of Yogacara. He lived for some time in a monastery 
in Oudh and afterwards in Magadha. He died at Rajagaha. 
Vasuvandhu was a disciple of Sanghabhadra. From 
Kashmir he went to Oudh where he lived for many years. 
At first a staunch adherent of the Sarvastivadins, he dis- 
approved of Asanga' s Yogasastra but afterwards became a 
convert to Mahayanism. After his conversion, he is said 

i Sasana vaifas a, P.T.S., p. 12. * Dipavarfisa, Oldenberg, p. 53. 



to have been a teacher at Nalanda College. He was cele- 
brated as the author of the Abhidharmakosa. Besides this, 
he wrote many commentaries on Mahayana texts. He died 
at an advanced age. Some say he died in Nepal, others say 
in Oudh. 

The Jatakas testify to the existence of trade relations 
between the Kashmir-Gandhara kingdom 

Trade relations. ... , , __. - , ., , 

on one side and the Videlia land on the 
other. We learn from the Gandhara Jataka that the king 
of Videha enquires of the tradesmen about the health of his 
friend, the king of Kashmir and Gandhara (Kick, The Social 
Organisation in North-east India in Buddha's time, p. 272). 
Horse-dealers figure prominently amongst the Gandhara 
traders. We learn from the Vayupurana that the Gandharian 
horses were the best of all (99th Chap.). In Taxila, people 
used to flock together to earn money (Niddesa, P.T.S., 
Vol. I, p. 154). In the Vessantara Jataka we read that in the 
kingdom of Gandhara, red blankets worth one hundred 
thousand coins were produced and the soldiers of Gandhara 
dressed up with red blankets used to follow King Vessantara 
of the kingdom of Jetuttara. (Fausboll, Jataka, Vol. VI, 
pp. 500-501.) 


A celebrated school of art developed and flourished in 
Gandhara. The icigns of Kanishka and 
Huvishka coincide with the most flourish- 
ing period of the great Gandharaii school of sculpture which 
had arisen during the rule of the aka princes. Hellenistic 
influence is very great in this art. A careful inspection of 
the successive coinages of the Indo-Greeks, the akas, and 
the Kushans will show that the strongest influences of pure 
Greek Art had passed away before the reign of Kanishka. 
With the establishment of Greek rule, south of the Hindukush , 
traces of the Indian craftsman's hand begin to appear. As 
time goes on these become more apparent, until, in the Kushan 
period the whole fabric of the coins, if not entirely Indian, 
is far more oriental than Greek. Thai purely Indian influences 
were strongly at work is very evident in the cult of Siva as 
expressed on the coins of Vima Kadphises and Vasudeva for 
instance; in the Buddha coins of Kadaphes and Kanishka 
and in the typical Indian cross-legged attitude in which 
Kadphises II and Huvishka are depicted ; and, after all is 
said, the art was produced in India and must have been largely, 
if not entirely, the work of Indian craftsmen. It was at 
the time of Kanishka that Indian mysticism allowed itself 
to be clad in Greek beauty of form. Eastern feeling ran 
as it were into Western moulds to create this wonderful 
aftermath of Hellenic art, which left an indelible mark 
upon evfery country of the Orient where the cult of the 


Buddha penetrated (The Coins of India by Brown, pp. 38-39). 
The above observation of Mr. Brown seems to be just and 
accurate on the subject. But Prof. Foucher, the great author- 
ity on Gandharan art, has made the following observations. 
It has long been ascertained that the art of Gandhara bor- 
rowed its technique from the Hellenistic art. It is impossible 
then that it should not have features in common with Greco- 
Roman and consequently with the Gallo-Roman art. The 
degree of this relationship may be distant, yet it can be 
justified with the help of archaeology and linguistics. It 
might be held that the sculptors of these countries had 
each learnt the art at the school of the Greeks. (A. Foucher, 
Beginnings of the Buddhist Art, p. 145.) The bas-reliefs of 
Gandhara and Amaravati are by common accord attributed 
to the first or second century B.C. (ibid, p. 190). 

Prof. Foucher points out that in Gandhara existed 
columns in Corinthian or Persepolitan style. (Plate XXV.) 
The image of the Buddha is like a trade mark of the workshops 
of Gandhara (Ibid, p. 130). 

During the reign of Menander (150-100 B.C.), circum- 
stances were favourable for planting the germ of the sub- 
sequent development of Greco-Buddhist Art by the creation 
of the Indo- Greek type of the Buddha. Prof. Foucher says 
that it is for the first time in the annals of Gandhara that we 
find the Indian statue of the Buddha in an European style 
(pp. 125-128). With the fruitless entrance of Alexander into 
India (326 B.C.) we find that Gandhara had been the centre 
of attraction for Greek adventure of all kinds. From the 
sculptures, e.g., types of Bodhisattva, Greco-Buddhist 

HiuUlhn LCiaudharaii School). 


Buddha, tutelary pair, the great miracle of Sravasti in 
Gandhara, the six tusked elephant, Buddhist Madonna, the 
Indo-Greek image of Hariti, it is evident that Hellenistic 
art played an important part in the development of the 
fine art of sculpture in Gandhara. 

Vincent Smith in his Asoka, says that the Persepolitan 
capital long continued to be used as a decorative element 
in Indian sculpture and is common in the reliefs from Gan- 
dhara, the so-called Graeco- Buddhist school, (p. 141.) 

The Hellenistic influence on Indian art which is most 
plainly manifested in the Gandhara sculptures dating from 
the early centuries of the Christian era, may be traced less 
conspicuously in other directions. There is good reason to 
believe that Buddhist teaching was considerably modified by 
contact with the Greek gods, and that the use of images in 
particular as an essential element in the Buddhist cult was 
mainly due to Greek example. Whatever Hellenistic elements 
in Indian civilisation can be detected, they were all indirect 
consequences of Alexander's invasion. The Greek influence 
never penetrated deeply. Indian polity and the structure of 
society resting on the caste basis remained substantially 
unchanged, and even in military science India showed no 
disposition to learn the lessons taught by the sharp sword of 
Alexander (Vincent Smith, Ancient and Hindu India, p. 67). 
Then the learned author says that much of the Buddhist 
sculpture at the time of Kanishka and his successors is 
executed in the style of Gandhara, the frontier province which 
included both Peshawar and Taxila. This style is called the 
Grseco Buddhist style because the forms of Greek art were 


applied to Buddhist subjects with considerable artistic success 
in many cases. Images of the Buddha appear in the likeness 
of Apollo, the Yakkha Kuvera is posed in the fashion of 
the Phidian Zeus and so on. The drapery follows Hellenistic 
models. The style was transmitted to the far east through 
Chinese Turkistan and the figures of the Buddha now made 
in China and Japan exhibit distinct traces of the Hellenistic 
modes in vo^ue at the court of Kanishka. Sir A. Stein and 
other archaeologists have proved thai the Khotan legion in 
Chinese Turkistan was the meeting place of four civilisations, 
(/reek, Indian, Iranian and Chinese, during the early centuries 
of the Christian era, including the reign of Kanishka. Gan- 
dhara style is Grajco-Roman, based on the Cosmopolitan 
art of Asia Minor and the Roman Empire as practised in the 
first three centuries of the Christian era. Much of the best 
work in that style was executed during the second century 
A.D., in the reigns of Kanishka and Huvishka (Vincent 
Smith, Ancient and Hindu India, p. 136). 

In the later school of Gandhara or Graico-Buddhist 
sculpture, the Buddha is frequently shown in full length 
(Sir Charles Eliot, Hinduism and Buddhism, Vol. II, 172). 
Sir Charles says on the authority of Foucher that ASvaghosa's 
treatment of legends is in remarkable accord with their 
artistic presentation in the Gandhara sculpture. He further 
holds that the prevalence of Gandhara art in the cities of the 
Tarim basin makes it likely that their efflorescence was not 
far removed in time from the Gandharan epoch of India. 
(Ibid, Vol. Ill, p. 7.) V. A. Smith is of opinion that the 
well-known sculptures of Gandhara are much later in date 


and are the offspring of Cosmopolitan Grseco-Rotnan art. 
(Early History of India, p. 241.) The celebrated Gandhara 
sculptures, found abundantly in the Peshawar district and 
neighbouring regions, the ancient Gandhara, of which many 
excellent examples date from the time of Kanishka and his 
proximate successors, give vivid expression in classical form* 
of considerable artistic merit to modified Buddhism, a religion 
with a complicated mythology and well-filled pantheon 
(Ibid, pp. :>6f>-367.) Sir Charles Eliot says that the Buddha 
appears to be represented hi the earliest Gandhfira sculptures 
and there was a famous image of him in Udyana of which 
Fa-Hien speaks as if it were already ancient. (Hinduism 
and Buddhism, Vol. II. p. 22.) The Yueh-chih who invaded 
India, were intimately connected with the Gandharan Art 
and the form of Buddhism which finds expression in it 
(Eliot, Hinduism and Buddhism, Vol. Ill, p. 213). 

No specimen of painting of the Gandhara school has 
come down to our times, but in a technical 
Th in A andhai Un6 ^ ook on painting, Chitralaksana to which 
we have already referred, a Gandhara 
King Nagnajit is credited with having originated the art and 
the book itself is said to have been written by that Nagnajit. 
This book is included in the Tibetan Tangyur and is one of 
four works on Silpa-sastra found in Section 123 of the Sutra 
portion of that great compilation. It purports to be a 
Tibetan translation of a Sanskrit book which, however, has 
not been discovered yet. The Tibetan text has recently been 
edited by Berthold Lauf er and is highly interesting as estab- 
lishing a connection between Gandhara and the art of paint- 


ing. It gives a story of the origin of the art which runs as 
follows : There was once a monarch of the name of Bhagajit 
who had acquired great fame and renown by his prowess and 
his pure life and austerities. One day a Brahmin came to 
him weeping for the death of his young son and charged him 
with the responsibility for that untimely death ; there must 
have been, he said, in his kingdom some serious breach of 
Dharma which the king did not take care to suppress. The 
king roused by the words of the Brahmin sought for the 
cause of this irregularity and by the power of his penances 
brought down Yama, the god of death and fought a severe 
duel with him. When Yama was on the point of defeat, 
the great God, Brahma came down and settled the dis- 
pute. He explained to the king that life and death were but 
the fruition of the results of Karma and it was not possible 
for Yama to undo or change this law. But to satisfy the king 
he told him to paint with the proper colours a likeness of the 
Brahmin boy and when Bhagajit had done so, Brahma 
infused life into it and the king made it over to the Brahmin. 
Brahma then told the king, " You have conquered to-day the 
Nagna Pretas (i.e., the naked spirits), therefore shall you be 
called Nagna jit henceforward," and he further added, "With 
my help you have painted a likeness of the Brahmin boy. 
This is the first of its kind down below here among men." 
The god also advised the king to perfect his education in the 
art of painting by taking some lessons from ViSwakarma, 
the artist of the gods and to learn from him the details about 
exact measurement and other rules. Moreover the introduc- 
tion to the book avers that the Chitralaksana was composed 


by bringing together the lessons given by Viswakarma, 
Prahlada and Nagnajit. 

Now in the Mahabharata we meet with Nagnajit, the 
king of Gandhara, who is also referred to in the Aitareya 
and Satapatha Brahmanas, as we have already shown before 
In the Mahabharata Nagnajit is called Prahlada-Sisya. " the 
disciple of Prahlada, " and as we have seen from the Chitra- 
laksana, Prahlada is considered as an authority of painting 
after Viswakarma, connecting these two together, there 
remains hardly any doubt that Nagnajit of the Chitra- 
laksana is none else than the Gandhara King Nagnajit of the 
Brahmanas and the great Epic. In the Jaina literature also 
a Gandhara sovereign Naggati or Nagnajit is referred to 
as one of the kings who left their kingdoms to embrace an 
ascetic life, but in the Chitralaksana there is no trace 
of Jaina influence but the entire work is evidently 

Putting together all the facts about Gandhara and Nag- 
najit it appears that the Chitralaksana is a text book of 
Gandharan art and it is highly probable, as Laufer suggests, 
that there must have been an ancient indigenous school of 
Gandhara art. This was influenced by the Hellenic art and 
produced the numerous sculptures that have come down 
to our times. Prof. Griinwedel also came to a similar 
conclusion from a study of certain peculiarities of the Gan- 
dhara style. He says : ( ' In many sculptures of the Gandhara 
school, the pictorial element is so strongly in evidence tha^j 
might imagine that an early school of painting 
in Gandhara whose extreme offshoot is 


extent in the Tibetan ecclesiastical painting; for example, 
the nimbus, and the reliefs of 'the flight of the Bodhisattva/ 
'the birth of Gautama,' etc." 

The paintings discovered by Sir Aurel Stein in Khotan 
cind Central Asia show some influence of Gandhara art and 
Chinese tradition also narrates that two Khotanese painters, 
\Vajna and Wei-chi-i-Song, introduced the Indian ideals and 
i methods of painting in China and Korea. This makes it not 
unreasonable to surmise that it was the ancient pre-Hellenic 
< iandhara school of painting that influenced the art of Central 
Asia and the Far East. 

See an article by Prof. Rabindra Nar.tyau Ghosh in the Sshitya-I'arishat 
1'atrika. Vol. 29, pt. II, pp. 55-05. 


It was in Gandhara that the finest "double-die" (im- 
pressed on both sides of the coin) coins were struck. Among 
these, one of the commonest, bearing a 
lion 011 the obverse, and an elephant on 
the reverse, is of special importance, since an approximate 
date can be assigned to it, for it was imitated by the Greek 
princes, Pantaleon and Agathokles (Brown's Coins of India, 
p. 19). The seated bull and horseman, the almost invariable 
devices on Rajput copper and billon coins, were introduced 
by the Brahmana kings of Gandhara or Ohind (Circ. 860-950), 
who first used them on silver ; the commonest of these are the 
issues of Spalapatideva arid vSamantadeva. (The Coins of 
India by Brown, p. 53.) 

It is interesting to note that Pantaleon and Agathokles 
were undoubtedly closely connected, since they struck coins 
which were identical in type and form. These were borrowed 
from the earlier native currency which prevailed generally 
in the Paropanisadae and Gandhara (Cambridge History of 
India, p. 546). The passing of Pahlava rule in Eastern 
Gandhara is illustrated by the remarkable hoard of 21 small 
silver coins, which was found by Sir John Marshall in an 
earthen jar on the ancient site of Sirkap. (Cambridge History 
of India, p. 580.) 

Dr. D. R. Bhandarkar while speaking of the Karshapanas 
holds that sometimes a coin which was even fifteen grains 
lighter was pronounced to be the heavier of the two. The 


ordinary human hand cannot unaided detect a difference 
of even fifteen grains. No wonder therefore if the Puranas 
of the Peshawar hoard were debased to the extent of 14. 66 
grs. The people of Gandhara, says Dr. Bhandarkar, could 
not possibly have detected this reduction of weight by the 
mere touch of their hand, and the debasement of the coin, 
necessitated perhaps by political exigencies, could thus have 
been safely practised on them. (Carmichael Lectures, 1921, 
p. 116.) 

Coins of the Kidara- Kushanas have been found in 
Kashmir and some parts of Gandhara . All the coins have the 
name of Kidara on the obverse. This Kidara has been 
identified by Cunningham with Ki-to-lo, the leader of the 
great Yuch-ti, known from Chinese sources. (Carmicha?! 
Lectures, 1921, p. 205.) 

The territories on the extreme north-western frontier 
of India, i.e., the Kabul valley and Gandhara (including 
Taxila) which were originally conquered by Euthj'demus or 
by Demetrius were wrested from the family of Greek princes 
by Eucratides. Coins originally issued by Apollodotus and 
re-struck by Eucratides bear the image and superscription 
of the tutelary deity of Kapisa, the capital city of Gandhara, 
they testify to the change of government which had taken 
place in this province. Rapson says that coins and inscrip- 
tions show that the family of Eucratides was supplanted by 
Saka Satraps in both KapiSa and Taxila (Rapson, Ancient 
India, p. 133). Rapson points out that an inscription 
affords the bare mention of a satrap of KapiSa, the capital of 
Gandhara, which as we know from coins had passed from 


the family of Euthydemus (Apollodotus) into the power of 
Eucratides. There is a copper-plate inscription of a satrap 
at Taxila, one of the capitals of Gandhara, named Patika 
which records the deposit of relics of the Buddha and a 
donation made in the seventy-eighth year of an unknown 
era. (Rapson's Ancient Indiu, p. 141.) 


Abhaya, 76, 84, 109, no. 

Abhayadeva, 32. 

Abhimanyu, 260, 261. 

Abhimia, 80, 79, 155. 

Abhirupananda, 191. 

Abhiseka, 102. 

Accima, 165. 

Adultery, 64. 

Afghans, 29. 

Agni Vaisvanara, 127, 128. 

Aiksvakas, 14. 

Aila, 13. 

Aitareya Brahmana, 13, 215. 

Ajamldha, 258. 

Ajatasatru, 9, 10, 12, 20, 33, 48, 67, 
93, 106, 107, 108, no, in, 112, 
113, 114, 116, 141, 161, 202. 

Ajatasattu, 56. 

Alamvusa, 14, 35. 

Alexander, 226, 277. 

Alindadevi, 220. 

Allakappa, 9, 200, 201. 

Amaravati, 276. 

Ambapali, 33, 54, 81, 112. 

Ambasakkhara, 63. 

Ambattha, 192. 

Amita, 166, 167. 

Amitodana, 166. 

Amritajit, 168. 

Anathapindika. 181. 

A nd bras, 202. 

Angas, 147, ^5<). 

Vn^irasa, 135, 1(^5 . 

.\ii<',uliuiala. no. 

Aii j ana (Sakyn). if)h. 

Aii jan a (wood), 7^. 

Anjann Vaniya. 70. 

Antaradesa, 2;,. 

Antialkidas. 271. 

Anupiya, 149. 

Annruddlia, 14. 

Apadana, 227. 

Appolonius, 266. 

Archery, 14. 

Architecture, hi. 

Artisans, 60. 

Ariuna, 224, 225, 244, 245. 

Arthasastra, 3, 19, 71, 91, 105, 222, 


Aryan, I, 8, 22, 23, 105, 128. 
Asanga, 273. 
Asia Minor, 278. 
Asoka, 116, 199, 201, 217, 226, 250, 

252, 277. 

Asokavadana, 202. 
Assaji. 82. 
Assaratana, 78. 
Astaka festivals, 43. 



Asvagbosa, 278. 

Asvala, 130. 

Asvalayana, 13. 

Asvamedba, 104, 130. 

Asvapati. 215, 225. 

Asvattbama, 247. 

Atali. IQO. 

Atharvaveda, 22, 27. 

Atthakulaka, 53, 103. 

Attok. 253. 

Aupamanyava, 214, 230. 

Avadanakalpalata. 198. 

Ayodbya. 133. 

Adiccas, 174. 

Alaka-manda, 218. 

Alara kalama, 204. 

Amrapali, 42, 109. 

Amratakevara, 51. 

Aiianda, 14, 44, 40, 47, 48, 62, 70, 

71, 84, 85, 93, 125, 150, 155, 156. 


Anandaja, 230. 
Apastamba, 22, 28. 
Arama, 215. 
Asana-panfiapaka, 05. 

Bandhula, no, in, 151, 160. 
Basjirh. 52, 121. 
c}, 121. 
yaua, 22. 
Gtya raja, 228. 

,avi, 42. 

Balikarama. 42. 

Bena, 105. 

Berthold l^aufer, 279. 

Bhaddakaccana, 166. 

TJhadcla Kapilanl, 227. 

Bhaddiya, 76, 194. 

Bhadraoakogamani, 152. 

Bhadravalm, 3. 

Bha^ajit, 280. 

Bbagavati, 32. 

Bhagavati Gosriigi, 42. 

Bliaggas, 200, 20 5. 

Bharata, 135, 165. 

Bhargas, 202. 

Bhiin<}agtira, ioj. 

Bbandagarikii, 99, 100, 101. 

Bhandarkar, R.O., 13. 

Bhanuratha, 168. 

Bharadvaja, 10. 

Bhasa, 130. 

Bhavayavya, 255. 

Bhavya, 255. 

Bbesakalavana, 203. 

Bhlmasena, 147. 

Bliisma, 222, 223, 243, 244. 

Blioja, 222. 

Bhujyu Labyayani, 130, 214. 

Bbummajaka, 155. 

Bimbisara, 40, 106, 107, 108, 140 


Bloch, 50. 
Brahmavidya, 141. 
Brahmayu, 139. 


Brihadaswa, 168. 

Brihadraja, 168. 

Brhadvala, 168. 

Burldhacarita. 175. 

Kuddhaghosa, 19, 20. .-$5. 46, 47, 71, 

j(>2. 106, 150, 164. 189, 202. 
Buddhism. 12, 31, 67, (>8. 75, 82. 

I5J- T57- 
Biihler, 5, 21, 24. 73. 117. 

Bulls, (), 2OO, 21)1. 

HyKnutiou, 254. 

Caitya. Baliuputra. 42. 70, 71. 

Capala, 42, 62. 70, 71. 

Gautama, 42, 70. 71. 

Kapinahya, 42, 70. 

Markata-hrada-tira, 42, 70. 

Sap tarn r a, 42, 70, 71. 

Sarandada, 78. 
Candragupta, 3, 7, 21, 25, lib, 117, 

118, 119, i2t), 199. 
Candraguptu II, 7. 
Candravarma, 247. 
Cellana, 106. 
Cetaka, n, 13, 32, irrf>. 
Cetiya, Pasana, 109. 
Ceylon, 69. 

Chabbaggiya bhikkhus, 49. 
Chakrayudha, 271. 
Chapra, 50. 
Chenab, 215, 216, 226. 
Chen-Su-na, 138. 
Cberand, 50. 

Confederacy, Vajjian, 31, 53, 94. 
Cunda.. 149, 154, 158. 
Cunningham. 40,, 50. 148, 216. 254. 


Dabba. 59, 154. 

Dandapani, 166. 180. 

J)arius, 29, 30. 

Dasaratha, 134, 136. 

Demetrius, 284 

Devadahasakka, 166. 

Devadaha, 200, 21 r. 

Devadatta, 140. 

Devananda, 124. 

Dcvapaladeva, 251. 

Pharniapala, 229. 

Dharmavivardhana, 263. 

Dhrstaketu, 239. 
Dhrtarastra, 224. 
Digarabaras, 124. 
Dlpamkara, 268. 
Dlrgha Carayana, 197. 
Disposal of the dead, 64. 
Divakara, 168. 
Divyavadana, 2, 70, 273. 
Dravidia, 21. 
Drona, 244. 
Druhyu, 262. 
Druma, 87. 
Drumaraja, 49. 
Drupada, 241. 
Duipalasa, 115. 122. 
Dulva, 37, 49, 107, 109. 



Duryodhana, 223, 224, 241, 242, 


Dvaraka, 234, 235. 
Dwapara, 258. 

Eggeling, Julius, 126. 
Egypt, 164. 
Elephant training, 57. 
Ephthalites, 30. 
Era, Gupta, 25. 

I,icchavi, 25. 

Vikrama, 119. 
Eucratides, 284. 
Eusofzai, 253. 
Euthydemus, 285. 

Fa-Hien 7, 46, 47, 176, 194, 279, 
Peer, M.L., 15. 
Pick, io, 274. 
Fleet, 25. 
Fo-li-shi, 138. 

Gahapatiratana, 78. 

Gandak, 126, 127. 

Gandarai, 254. 

Gandhara, 142, 202, 252 foil. 

Ganges, 35. 

Garh, Raja Visal ka, 50. 

Garudavyuha, 244. 

Gasarhsa, 13. 

Gargi Vacaknavi, 130, 131. 

Ghatotkacagupta, 117. 

Gijjhakuta, 109. 

Gnya Khri bstan po, 15. 
Gopa, 180. 
Gopala, 107. 
Gopalakaksa, 147. 
Gorakhpur, 148. 
Got a in a Rahugana, 128. 
Gotm, Aditya, 174. 

Gotama, 174, 175. 

Kasyapa, 13. 

Vasistha, 12. 13, 14. 
Govinda, 130. 
Govindarajii, 4, 5. 

Haihayas. ^48. 

Harivamsa. 23^. 

Haslikasirsa. 169. 

Hastinapura. 223. 

Hattliiratana. 78. 

Hclioklcs, 271. 

Herat. 29. 

Hermaios, 271. 

Herodotus, 252. 

Hiuen Tsang, 7, 138, 194, 217, 227, 

236, 253. 

Hoernle, 38 121, 122, 123. 
Hoey, 50. 
Hoti Murdan, 253. 
Hoysala. 239. 
Huna, 30. 
Hunting, 57. 
Huvishka, 278. 

Iksvaku, 14, 35, 36, 132, 163, 164, 
167, 168. 



Indra, 36, 71. 
Indraprastha, 134. 
Indraraja, 229. 

Allahabad posthumous stone 
pillar, f>. 216. 

Bhitari stone pillar, 7. 

Kihar stone pillar, 7. 

Bilsad stone pillar, 7. 

Deopara Prasosti, 5. 

Gaya copper plate, 7. 

Krsnadwarika temple, 5. 

Mathura stone, 7. 

Tetrawan ima^c, 5. 
Isvaradeva 184. 
Hthiratana, 78. 

Jacobi, 73. 

Jainism, i, 2, IT. 23. 31, 07, 72, 

106, 153, 157. 
Jalalabad, 25;,, 255. 
Janaka, 35, 69, 132, ijj. 134. 1.55* 

130, 138. 

Janakapura, 134, 138. 
Janamcjaya, 219. 
Jayadeva. I, 25. 
Jayadratha, 244. 
Jayasena, 165. 
Jaratkarava Artabhaga. 130 
Jenta, 80, 170. 
Jenti, 80, 170. 
Jetuttara, 274. 
Jhalla, 21. 

Jhelum, 220. 

Tlvaka Koinarabhaeca, 44. 

Jnatrikas, 121, 122. 

Jiiatriksatriya, 120. 

Tuatiiputra, 31. 

Jolly- 5- 

Ju-lai, 47. 

Jumna, 232. 

Kaccana, i(>0. 
Kadali, 234. 
Kadaphes, 275. 
Kad))hiscs. \ r iiiia, 275. 
Kahola Kausitakeya, 130. 
Kaliii^iis, 147. 
Kamauli grant, 5. 
Kambojas, 214, 230 foil. 
Kandanunasuka, 70. 
Kanishka, 275, 277, 278, 279. 
Kapila, 103. 171, 172, 175. 
Kapilahvayapura, 175. 
Kapilavastu, 9, 44, 163, 1^)4, 172, 

173, 175, 176, 177, 190, 192. 
Kapilavatthu, 164, 165, 181. 
Kapisa, 284 
Karma-sataka, 15. 
Kama, 242. 
Kashmir, 229. 
Kauravas, 238. 
Kau6ikl, 137- 
Kautilya, 3, 10, 71, ^i. 9 2 I0 5. i l6 ' 

150, 222, 238. 
Kalabagh, 253, 255. 



Kalaka-Sarai, 266. 

Kalamas, 200, 203. 

Kalidasa, 240. 

Kalikeya, 261. 

Kaiiyakubja, 220. 

Kasl, ii, 14, 239. 

Kasia, 149. 

Kasi-Kosala, 171. 

Katyayana, 234. 

Kern, 6g. 

Kesaputta, 200, 203, 204. 

Kesins, 204. 

Kliandasuinana, 155. 

Khasa, 21. 

Khoaspes, 253, 254. 

Kiaii-to-lo, 253. 

Kidara-Kusana, 284. 

Kiinnsira, 168. 

Kiratns, 203 

Koch, 251. 

Kolanagara. 205. 

Kola, Raja, 192. 

Kola tree, 205. 

Koli, 208. 

Koliyas, 9, 184, 194, 195, 200, 201, 

202, 204, 208, 2IO, 211. 

Kosala, n, 14, 64, io(>, no. 127. 

130, 151, 179, 180. 194, 195. 
Kritanjaya, 168. 
Krsna, 134, 238. 
Ksemadhanva, 243. 
Kukuras, 3, 91. 
Kulluka, 4. 5, 6. 29. 

Kumara devl, 25, 117, 119, 120. 

Kuinaragupta, 7. 

Kundadana, 190. 

Kundagama, 39. 

Kundagrama, 32, 121, 122. 

Kundapura, 38, 124. 

Kundara Gaudaridic, 253. 

Kunti, 222. 

Kuru, 3, 91, 130. 

Kuruksetra war, 224, 225, 238, 241, 


Kuru- Pan calas, 21, 214. 
Kusa, 220. 
Kusavati, 165, 219. 
Kusinara, 8, 14. 147. 148. 150, 151, 

158, 160. 

Kutagara Hall, 43, 185. 
Kutagarasala, 33, 42, 44, 46, 47, 59, 

7 0. 

L,aksmana, 35, 133. 
Ivamghan, 253, 255. 
Ivecchai, 2, 3. 
Leech aki, 3. 
Lecchavi, 2, 3, 7. 
Lhasa, 29. 
Licchavayah, 118. 
Licchavi, i, 2 foil. 
Licchavi-dauhitra, 0, 25, 118, 
Liechavigana, 63, 64. 
Licchavikulaketu, 7. 
Licchivi, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. 
Lichavi, 4. 


lyi-ch e-p'o, 7. 
Una chavi, 17. 
I/itschtschhavi, 8. 
Inornate, 255. 
Ludwig, 231. 
Jjuuihmi garden, 176. 

Madda. io(>. 

Madhyadesa. 22, 126, 232. 
Mailragara Saungayaui, 214, 230. 
Madras, 21, 91, 214 foil. 
Magadha, 9, 10, 29, 33, 67. 7,5. 106. 

108. 109, 112, 116, 212. 
Mahali, 9, 60, 83, 84, 151, 160. 
Mahamatra, 67, 77. 
Mahaniaya, 15, 177. 
Mahamucala, 135. 
Mahanama, 57. 58, 109, 180, 195. 
Mahapajapati the (iotami, 185. 
Mahapatapa, 135. 
Maharakkhita thera, 249. 
Mahasammata, 135, 164, 165. 
Mahavana, 33, 42, 43, 55* 61, 76, 77, 

82, 83, 149, 154. 
Maliavastu, 2, 12, 15, 39, 55, 75'9 J ' 

169, 173, 195. 
Mahavira, 3, n, 12, 20, 23, 31, 32, 

39> 57 72 73. 74. 75. 106, no, 

121, 123, 124, 125, 153- 
Mahendra, 220. 
Mabipala, i, 251. 
Mahirakula, 228, 229. 
Majjhantika, 273. 

Makaravyuha. 243. 
Makhadeva, 135, 137, 139, 143, 144. 
Makuta Bandhaua, 153, 150. 
Mallas, 8, o, 14, 16, 21, 91, 104, no. 

147 foil. 

Mallika. 160, 196. 
ManJhJitar, 165. 
Maniratana, 78. 
Manu. 5, 21, 22, 24. 
Mamisamhita, 237. 
Manu-smrti, 24. 
Manvyartha\^yakhyana, 6. 
Marudeva, 168. 
Maudgalyayaua, 12 
Mauryas, i, 26. 
Maurya Empire, 2. 
Maya, 15, 166. 
Madravati, 219. 
Madri, 223, 225. 
Managrha, 120. 
Manava, 13. 

Manava Dharmasastra, ^. 
Mandhata, 168. 
Matali, 144, 145- 
Mathava, 127, 128. 
Mech, 251. 
Medhatithi, 4, 5- 
Menander, 226, 27(1. 
Metteya, 155. 
Mihirakula, 226. 
Mithi, 135- 
Mithila, 35, 80, i?.;, I34 i.i (j - X 37 

138, 141, 145- if*. l6 5- 



Moggaliana, 85, 193. 

Moriyanagara, 199. 

Moriyas, 9, 200, 201. 211. 

Mote Hall, 73, 101, 150, 151, 158, 

159, 102, 193, 207. 
Mucala, 135, 165. 
Mucalinda. 165. 
Mii jav ants, 255, 256. 
Muzafferpur, 49. 

Xaggati, 280, 281. 

Xaguajit, 279, 280, 281. 

Nanda, 49, 176. 

Nandaka, 77. 

Nandanacarya, f). 

N and as, 90. 

Nandini, 6. 

Nandupananda, IQO. 

Nata, 21. 

Natti, 96. 

Nayapala, 5. 

Nagamun^a, 182. 

Nalanda, 274. 

Natha clan, 121. 

Nathaputta, 84. 

Naya clan, 115, 121, 122. 

Nayakula, 38. 

Nayaka, 99. 

Nepal, 26. 

Neru, 135. 

Nicchavi, 17, 20. 

Nicchivi, 6, 29. 

Nigantha Nathaputta, 73, 74, 153- 

Nimi, 132, 133, 135, 141. 
Nineveh, 266. 
Nipura, 173. 
Nirgrantha, 75. 
Nirukta, 231. 
Nirvana, 81. 
Nisibis, 6, 29. 

Okkaka, lOjj, 164, 167, 204, 2K). 
Oligarchy, qo. 
Oxus, 241. 

Pabhavati, 21 q. 

Pahlavas, 237, 248. 

Pajapati, 166. 

Pakhtu, 2f). 

Palia, 251. 

Pamita, 166. 

Pancala, 3, 91, 105. 120, 204, 229. 

Pancanada, 259. 

Panca&kha, 134. 

Panditakumara, 84. 

Parasara, 216. 

Pariksit, 219. 

Pasenadi, 64, 151, 179, 180, 194, 


Patancala Kapya, 214, 215. 
Patapa, 135. 
Paururavasa, 13. 
Pavenipotthaka, 103. 
Pancju, 219, 223. 
Panini, 236. 
Paradas, 237. 



Parasika, 215. 

Parsva, 124. 

Parsvanatha, 72, 123, 124. 

Pataligama, 112. 

Pataliputra, 3, iiq. 

Pava 9, 15, 147, 148, 150, 154, 158. 


Pawapurl, 149. 

Persia, 6. 29. 

Peshawar, 253, 277, 270. 

Peukelos, 265. 

Pharaohs, 164. 

Pingiyani, 79. 

Pipphalivana, 9, 200, 201. 212. 213. 

Pipprawa, 176. 

Pliny. 267. 

Poshadha. u. 

Prabodha, (Rab-sad), T> 

Praceta, 262, 263. 

Prahlada, 281. 

Prasenajit. no. 

Prativyoma, 168. 

Pritha, 245. 

Priyakarmi, 13. 

Prthu, 105, 245. 

Ptolemy, 253. 

Pujavaliya. iq. 

Pukkusa, 204. 

Pu-meu-to-lo-iii, 47. 

Puranakassapa, 83. 84. 

Purisas, 151. 

Purus, 226. 

PushkalavatI, 265. 

Puskara, 265. 
Puskariivoti, 205. 
Pusyamitra Sunga. 117. 

Ouonim, 98. 

Ragliu, 240, 241. 

Raghunandaiia, 230. 

Rananjaya, lOS. 

Rawalpindi, 253, 

Rajagaha, 108, 109, 148, 165. 

Rajagriha. 40, 43, 107, 108, 134, 


Raj asuy a Sacrifice, 104. 
Rahu, 142, 143. 
Ralmla, 166. 
Rama, 35. 

Ramacandra, 133, 130. 
Ramagama, 9, 200, 201, 211. 
Ramapala, 5. 
Rapti, I2(). 
Ratula, i6S. 
Ravi, 215, 2ih. 
Republic, 90. 
Revata, 89. 
Rhys Davids, 50. 
Rohini, 174, 208. 
Roja, 156, 165. 
Ruci, 135. 
Rummindei Pillar, 176. 

SabbakamI, 89. 
Sabbaratticaro, 65. 



Sabbarattivaro, 65. 
Saccaka, 75, 82, 83. 
Sacrifice Asvamedha, 104, 130, 134. 

Rajasuya, 104, 233. 
Vahudaksina, 132. 
Sadanira, 127, 128. 
Sahadeva, 223. 
Sakas, 236, 248. 
Sakotavana, 171, 172. 
Sakuni, 241. 
Salaka-gahapaka, 98. 
Salya, 224, 243. 
Sambo jjhangas, 80. 
vSammata, 168. 
Sammatiya School, 177. 
Samudragupta, 6, 7, 25, 117, 118. 


Sanang Setseo, 15. 
Sanghabhadra, 273. 
Sangla-wala-Tiba, 216. 
Santhagara, 73, 94, 150, 158. 
Saraikala, 253. 
Saraswatl, 127. 
Satadhanu, 135. 
Satapatha Brahman a, 214. 
Satyavan, 225. 
Savaraswami, 92. 
Sauviras. 203. 
vSadhina, 135, 144, 145. 
Sagala, 217. 
Sagara, 165. 
Sagaradeva, 135, 165. 
Sakala, 215, 217, 225. 

vSaketa, 79. 

Sakyamuui, 2, 176. 

Sakyaparisa, 193. 

Sakyas, 9, 15, 16, i(>2 foil. 

Salha, 76. 

vSamagama, 178. 

Samandaka, 85. 

vSamaveda, 232. 

Samba. 232 

Saran. 50. 

Sariputto, 05, 85, 211. 

SatyakI, 247. 

Savatthi. 64, 138, 139, 148. 

Savitrl, 225. 

vSavitri (initiation) 21, 22. 

Schiefner, 8. 

Senapati, g2. gg. 

Shah Deri. 266. 

Shan-hsien-lu, 20. 

Shrine, Bahuputta, 70. 

,, Capala, 70. 

Gotamaka, 70. 

., Sarandada, 70. 

,, Sattaniba, 70. 

,, Udena, 70. 
Sialkot, 215, 

Siddhartha, 13, 123, 124, 17^, 189. 
STha, 23, 73, 74 75* 157- 
Siha, 80. 
Slhahanu, 166. 
Slhapura, 222. 
Slhassara, 165. 
Sihavahana, 165. 



Sihavahu, 223. 

Sindhus, 203. 

Sinhahanu, 15, 173. 

Si&unagas, 90. 

Si&unakas, 26. 

Sita, 136, 140. 

Sivananda, 125. 

Sivisaiijaya, 165. 

Skandagupta, 7. 

Solar race, 13, 14. 174. 

Sravasti, 277. 

Srutakarma, 243. 

Sreyarhsa, 13. 

Sribhadra, 106. 

vStrabo, 253. 

Sudaksina, 241, 243, 244, 246. 

Sudarsana, 220. 

vSudassana, 135. 

Suddhodana, 15, 90, 166, 174, 189, 


Sugrlva, 215. 
Sujata, 170. 
Suklodana, 173. 
Sumati, 36. 
Sumedha, 145, 146. 
Sumitra, 141. 
Sumsumara Hill, 200, 203. 
Sundarl Nanda, 191. 
Sunldha, 112. 
Suppabuddha, 166. 
Suppavasa, 211. 
Supratika, 168. 
Surasena, 220. 

Suruci, 135, 145. 
Suryavarhsa, 13. 
Sutrakrtanga, 3. 
Svastyayana-gatha, 41. 
Svayambara, 222. 
Svetarhbaras. 124. 134. 
vSwat. 253. 255. 

Takshasila. 253. 

Tapussa, 149. 

Taxila, (>o, 141, 151, ^77. 

Tavattmsa gods, 54. 

Thakuri fiunily, 119. 

Tlrabhukti, 51. 

Tirhut, ^9, 51, 135, 1 37- 

Tissa, 190. 

Tomara, 91. 

Tray astrirn cat devas, 41. 

Trigarta, 243. 

Trisala, 12, 13, 32, io<>. 123, 124. 

Trnavindu, 14, 35. 

Tusita gods, 45, 58. 

Ubbhataka, 150, 158. 
Udayaua, 136. 
Uddalaka Arum, 130, 214. 
Udena, 203. 
Ugra race, 12. 
tlkkacela, 85. 
Upacara, 165. 
Upali, 176, 190. 

Upanisad Brhadaianyaka, 120, 1 



Uparaja, 99, TOO. 
Upavasavi, 107. 
Urn, 202. 

Uruvelakappa. 149, 152. 
Uttara-kuru. 215. 
T t ttara-Madra. 215. 

Vaddha, 44, 59, 155. 

Yaidehi, 106, 107, 108. 137,. 

Vaidehlputra. 136. 

Yaijayanti, 24, 145. 

Yateali, 8, n, 12, 13, 14. 23. 26, 27, 
28, 29, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36. 37, 39, 
40. 43, 45, 48, 49, 50, 51. 52, 54, 
59, 60, 61. 64, 65, 70, 72, 73, 75, 
76, 78. 79, 80, 81, 87, 88, 8q, 102, 

IO6, 107, III. I2T. 

Yafeya, 22. 

Vajjiputta, 79. 

Vajjiputtaka, 82. 

Vajji, 18, 33, 53, 67. 

Vajora country, 49. 

Valhika dynasty. 223. 

Vam&a Brahmana, 214. 

Vaxhsavali, 13, 14, IIQ. 

Vang as, 147. 

Vaniya, 121. 

Varahamihira. 216. 

Vararoja. 165. 

Yarddhamana, 124. 

Varsika, 196. 

Vais$ha, 12. 22, 133, 135. 248. 

Vftssakara, 60, 67, QS. jj2. 114. 115. 

Vasubandhu, 273. 

Vasudeva, 245. 

Vatsa, 168. 

Vatsavyuha, 168. 

Valmiki, 35. 

Vaniyagama. 38, 121. 

Vartaastropaiivin, 238. 

Vasabha khattiya, 182,. 197. 199. 

Vasava, 107. 

Vasetthas, 150. 

Vasitthi, 80. 

Vedehiputto, 25, 56, 106 

Vesall, 8, 19, 34. 

Vessantara, 274. 

Vibhajjavadin, 69. 

Vidagdha Sakalya, 131. 

Videgha Mathava, 126, 127. 

Videha, 69, 104, 107, 126 foil. 

Videhadatta, 13, 32. 

Vidudabha, 177, 197, 198. 199. 

Vidura, 258. 

Vijayasena, 5. 

Vimala Kondanna, no. 

Visakha, 181. 

Visakhadatta, 213. 

Visnupurana, 168, 215 

Visnuvardhana, 239. 

Vi^wakarma, 280. 

Viiwamitra, 35, 133 

Vivien de St. Martin. 50, 138. 

Voharika, 102. 

Vratya, 21, 22, 23, 24. 

Vrjis, 15, 91. 

INDEX 299 

Vrjika. V Yami ' I6 - 

Yyavaharika, 102. Yasodhara, 1(15. i(>6, 180. 

Yajnavalkya, 69, 120, 131, 141, 214. 

\Vatters. 58. Yaska, 231, 232. 

\\"hitiiey, 28 Yogacara, 273. 

Vogasastra, 27 5. 

Vn r aii ' 25<) ' Vonakn, 217. 

N :i J da - 15 - v Yuan Chwan-, .^d, 37- 47. 4- l8 4- 

Yajurvetla, 69, 120. Yudhisthira, 134. 22;,. 225. 233. 

^ akkha cctiyam, 7'- Yue-clii, ^o, 279. 
Vakkha Kuvcra, 278. 

Yakkha Saranclada, 71. Zimmer, 28, 231. 
Yania. 164. 



DK. STJSN KONOW of Norway: It is a very useful work you 
have undertaken to put together all the references available from 
literature about the Ksatriya clans. I wish that we had more 
books of the same kind, not only about tribes and clans but also 
about geographical designations. The great merit of such books 
is that they allow you to judge for yourself without simply 
accepting the opinion of the author. I am very thankful to you 
for your careful piecing together of such evidence as is available 
and I look forward to further important contributions from you 
in elucidation of ancient Indian history. 

MRS. C. A. 1*. RHYS DAVIDS of England : Thank you much 
lor the nift of your very readable and clear-written work. You 
give us many aper^us of what seems to have been a simple folk 
of a crude stage of civilisation, when we get light upon them. 
Your book is a more ample and detailed monograph than what I 
had expected. 

DK. A. BERRIEDAUS KEITH of Scotland, writes in his foreword to 
the above book: The most pressing need at the present day 
is a detailed investigation of carefully chosen aspects of Indian 
history, and it was a happy thought of Dr. Bimala Charan 
Law to select for investigation the history of certain Ksatriya 
clans of ancient India. Careful collections of facts such as are 
contained in this work form the only sound basis of further 
research and the future historian of India will find his task 
substantially furthered both by the wide knowledge and by the 
sound judgment of the author. Many things are obscure in the 
history' of these clans and it is oi special value to have the 
whole of the facts regarding them set out without parti pris in a 
spirit of scientific research. 

DR, F. O. SCHRADER of Germany : There is so much interesting 
material in it and your way of dealing with it is attractive 


DR. E. W. HOPKINS of America:! was much pleased with 
your volume on Ksatriya Tribes of Ancient India, which I have 
read with much historical profit. Please accept my thanks for 
the very useful work. 

DR. JARL CHARPENTIER of Upsala : Your valuable buok on 
" Ksatriya Tribes in Ancient India." I have found it a very 
valuable contribution to the history of ancient India. The subject 
has not, to my knowledge, been dealt with properly in any previous 
work, and I am astonished at the vast and, as far as I can judgo, 
exhaustive collections of materials that you have succeeded in 
bringing together. I shall certainly recommend the book to tlms.* 
of my students who arc concerned with similar topics. 

DR. W. GEIGER of Germany : Valuable present. ... It was a 
happy idea, I think, to collect all the notices to be found in 
Indian sources about the Ksatriya clans in India in the Buddhist 
period. For this is of special importance for our knowledge of 
Indian life during those centuries. You have splendidly enlarged 
and supplied the materials shortly dealt with by Prof. Rhys Davids 
in his well-known book on Buddhist India. I see with special 
interest that you have even utilised for your work the- Mahavarhsn 

DR. I,. D. BARNKTT of England The additions that you have 
made increase the usefulness of the. work. 

SIR CHARLES ELIOT, British Ambassador, Japan : In looking 
through the Ksatriya tribes, I found the chapters on the Licchavib 
and Sakyas particularly interesting and 1 am confident that the 
book will prove of real value to students. 

DR. IvOUis DE LA VALLEE POUSSIN of Belgium: .. .Unfortunately 
your book on Ksatriyas comes when I am dispatching the last 
proofs of a Histoire de V Indc, and I can only add in a footnote 
that I have not been able to draw from it a number of details 
and observations worthy of notice. But when I shall come to the 
Guptas, your remarks on the L,icchavis will be discussed. 

The Times LITERARY SUPPLEMENT- In his search for material 
for the history of Ksatriya clans in early India Mr. L,aw has, one would 
think, very nearly exhausted all the available records. He claims to 
have studied not only the European and Indian scholars who have 


made researches, but also to have ransacked an immense quantity ui 

Hindu and Buddhist literature To collect every possible reference 

to a particular tribe or to any individual of eminence belonging to 

that tribe is undoubtedly useful Mr. Law has, liowevci, 

succeeded in showing that many of these ancient clans were exceedingly 
prosperous, and that they were for the most part a cultivated and a 
manly race. The section on the Licchavis, which occupies more than .1 
third of the book, is very well 'lone, and Mr Law claims, no doubt 
rijjhtly, that he has added much to the information already available*, 
^specially as regards matrimonial practices and the condition of Yai&ali, 
the capital city. The description, too of Gandhara is particularly 
interesting to European scholars because of its connexion with Alexander 
and because archaeological research has enabled us to supplement 
literary remains. 

Miwon Press. Calcutta